A new study has shown that women who abort are TWICE as likely to have pre-term or post-term deliveries.
Zhou, Weijin, et. al., "Induced Abortion and Subsequent Pregnancy Duration," Obstetrics & Gynecology 94(6):948-953 (Dec. 1999).
Using three Danish national registries, researchers at the Danish Epidemiology Science Center identified 61,753 women who had their first pregnancies in 1980, 1981, or 1982. Of these 15,727 had a first trimester induced abortion.
Subsequent pregnancy outcomes for all of these women was tracked until 1994. Women who had one, two, or more previous induced abortions were, respectively, 1.89, 2.66, or 2.03 times more likely to have a subsequent pre-term delivery.
Prior induced abortion not only increased the risk of premature delivery, it also increased the risk of delayed delivery. Women who had one, two, or more induced abortions were, respectively, 1.89, 2.61, and 2.23 times more likely to have a post-term delivery (over 42 weeks).
Many States with Women's Right to Know laws prepare booklets for women considering abortion that are supposed to accurately describe the risks of abortion. Few truly do, since the preparation by the relevant state agency is highly politicized. Often these booklets inform women that abortion poses no significant risk to subsequent pregnancies.
This Danish study is the best to date on abortion's effect on subsequent pregnancy outcomes. Women have a right to know this information.
Any state prepared booklets describing the risks of abortion should be revised to include this information. Premature delivery is the leading cause of neo-natal handicaps and neo-natal deaths.
Informed consent booklets should also be revised to advise women of the four to six fold increased risk of substance abuse and suicide following abortion.
States that refuse to modify their booklets are subject to lawsuits for (1) failing to comply with the requirements of their own informed consent laws and (2) for misinforming women about the true risks of abortion.