Studies - PreTerm Delivery / Premature Birth / Prematurity Complications

Abortion Promoter Grimes Brazenly Dishonest About Abortion / Pre-Term Birth Link

The too-high rate of pre-term births and low birth weight babies continues to plague state health agencies.

But veteran pro-abortion apologist Dr. David Grimes assures readers in his recent Huffington post entry that any connection of premature births to abortion is merely an invention of “naive” pro-life enthusiasts.

Graves is brazenly dishonest.

The research into the effects of induced abortion upon future pre-term births began in 1960 and now there are 147 statistically significant studies showing the connection.

Many if not most women contemplating abortion wish to get pregnant in the future.

Is it not the essence of “informed consent” to make them aware of the possible consequences of that abortion for a subsequent pregnancy?

In July 2006, The Institutes of Medicine, which publishes several reports each year, issued a report “Pre-term Birth, Its Causes, Consequences and Prevention.”

The IOM cited abortion as an “immutable” factor for pre-term birth.

Immutable means the effect cannot be undone; even smoking as a factor for lung cancer is not immutable.

Now, granted that the Pre-term report is buried on page 517-518; but it’s still a bombshell!

[see IOM details below]

Ironically, Grimes was nominated to IOM membership in October 2006. Yet Grimes ignores the IOM finding.

As a trained epidemiologist and prolific author, it is unconscionable for Grimes to write there is only a “weak association” between abortion and an increased risk of subsequent premature deliveries and/or low-weight babies.

There is such a high number of studies– including two “gold standard” meta-analyses (also called systematic reviews) in 2009—that demonstrate otherwise.

The APB link is settled science, according to this excerpt from the invaluable book Complications: Abortion’s Impact on Women (Lanfranchi, Gentiles, Ring-Cassidy, 2013):

“Thanks to two recently-published systematic reviews it is now settled science that women who have had one or more induced abortions significantly increase their chances of later giving birth to a preterm or low-birth-weight child.”

Shah and colleagues analyzed 37 sound studies, and determined that the adjusted estimate of increased risk of low birth weight births was 24 per cent after one abortion, and 47 per cent after more than one abortion.

The adjusted risk of preterm birth — meaning under 37 weeks’ gestation — increased by 27 per cent after one abortion, and 62 per cent after two or more abortions.

Swingle and colleagues reviewed 21 sound studies and concluded that one induced abortion increased the adjusted risk of a subsequent preterm birth by 25 per cent, while two or more abortions increased the risk by 51 per cent (Adjusted risk, means after other variables such as income, age and marital status have been taken account of).

More important, Swingle et al found that women with prior induced abortions have 64 per cent higher risk of a very preterm delivery (under 32 weeks gestation) compared to women with no prior induced abortions.

Both these studies confirm the “dose-response” effect; in other words, the more abortions a woman has, the greater her risk of later having a preterm and/or low weight birth child.

Why should this be so?

The explanation is that in a surgical abortion the cervix is forced open, thereby weakening it. The more abortions a woman has, the weaker her cervix is likely to become.

This excerpt belies Grimes’ claim that the relevant science misgroups women, doesn’t screen out other factors, and misunderstands “causation.’”

For example, the large Kissler study he dislikes, clearly says, “Health care professionals should be informed about the potential risks of repeat Induced abortions on infant outcomes in subsequent pregnancy.”

As a health “professional,” Grimes should stop denying the obvious.

[June 15, 2015, Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life, originally appeared at NRL News Today — ]


IOM Details

13 July 2006, The Institutes of Medicine, which publishes several reports each year, issued a report “Pre-term Birth, Its Causes, Consequences and Prevention”

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Report Brief: “In 2005, 12.5 percent of births in the United States were preterm, at less than 37 weeks gestation. This high rate of premature births in the United States constitutes a public health concern that costs society at least $26 billion a year.

“Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention notes troubling disparities in preterm birth rates among different racial and ethnic groups…

The report recommends a multidisciplinary research agenda aimed at improving the prediction and prevention of preterm labor and better understanding the health and developmental problems to which preterm infants are more vulnerable. In addition, the report recommends that guidelines be issued to further reduce the number of multiple births — a significant risk factor for preterm birth — resulting from infertility treatments.”



13 July 2006, National Academy of Sciences Press Release,

“The report uses the word “preterm” for births that occur at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy; a full-term pregnancy is 38 to 42 weeks.

In 2005, 12.5 percent of births in the United States were preterm, a 30 percent increase over 1981 rates.

Babies born before 32 weeks have the greatest risk of morbidity and mortality, but “near-term” or “late-preterm” infants born between 32 and 36 weeks, which make up the greatest number of preterm births, are still at higher risk for health and developmental problems than full-term newborns.

There is no test that accurately predicts preterm birth, and efforts to prevent it have primarily focused on delaying delivery long enough for the mother and fetus to get appropriate care, which has helped reduce morbidity and mortality rates…

“Last year the economic burden of preterm births was $26.2 billion, or $51,600 per infant, the committee estimated.

“Most of the expense was for medical care, especially that provided in infancy. Maternal care, early intervention services, special education for preterm infants with learning difficulties, and lost household and labor productivity also contribute to the cost…

“Researchers also should focus on studying how to prevent higher rates of preterm births among certain populations.

“In 2003, 17.8 percent of pregnant black women gave birth to a preterm baby, compared with 10.5 percent of Asian women, 11.5 percent of white women, and 11.9 percent of Hispanic women…”

NOTE: Black women experience an abortion rate approximately 3 times higher than white women.


47-page summary chart of over one hundred peer-reviewed studies involving mothers and newborns from 34 countries stretching back from the present to 1972, see, or!studies/c1lq1




A stunning increase in preterm delivery — both intended and unintended — has been happening over the past few decades.

Preterm delivery can dramatically increase the risk of Cerebral Palsy in the child.

There appear to be two procedures that affect this increase.

The first reason is elective induced preterm delivery.
A normal pregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks, measured from last menstrual period (LMP).

Many women and couples have decided to push delivery of their babies earlier and earlier to accommodate their personal wishes, apparently unaware that the last few weeks, and days, of pregnancy are critical to complete development of many body organs, such as lungs and brain.

One major consequence of early preterm delivery can be Cerebral Palsy.

Unfortunately, many physicians have ‘gone along’ with these wishes, possibly to the detriment of the babies.

Nationally, the “39-Week Initiative” is spreading to encourage hospitals to write policies that ban elective deliveries prior to Week 39.

Slowly, the public is learning about the dangers of early, and very early, preterm delivery, and are realizing that allowing the baby to pick its own birth-date is “worth the weight”.

The second reason is induced abortion.
There are presently well over one hundred peer-reviewed published studies suggesting a strong connection between abortion and unintended preterm delivery/birth of subsequent children.

Some of these studies can be found at this website.