A 13-year study of pregnancy-associated deaths, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that the maternal mortality rate associated with abortion is 2.95 times higher than the maternal mortality rate associated with pregnancies carried to term.

The study included the entire population of women 15-49 years of age in Finland, 1987-2000. The researchers linked birth and abortion records to death certificates.

The annual death rate of women who had abortions in the previous year was also 46% higher than that of non-pregnant women.

Women who carried to term (gave birth) had a significantly lower death rate than non-pregnant women.

Non-pregnant women had 57.0 deaths per 100,000, compared to only 28.2 for women who carried to term (gave birth), 51.9 for women who miscarried, and 83.1 deaths for women who had abortions.

[Gissler M, Berg C, Bouvier-Colle MH, Buekens P. Pregnancy-associated mortality after birth, spontaneous abortion or induced abortion in Finland, 1987-2000. Am J Ob Gyn 2004; 190:422-427. Finland National Research and Development Center]