Studies - General Research

Abortion May Increase Risk of Autoimmune Disease: Fetal Microchimerism (Int J Clin Exp Med 6/2010)

Surgical abortion may increase the likelihood of certain autoimmune diseases, according to a new report by Dr. Ralph P. Miech of Brown University.

Fetal microchimerism – the transfer of fetal cells into the bloodstream of the mother, whence they may be grafted on to bone marrow or other tissues – is the key link between abortion and autoimmune disease, says Miech.

The researcher pointed out that as the placenta is destroyed during a surgical abortion, there is an increased "fetal-to-maternal transfer of fetal … cells."

These fetal cells may persist in the mother’s body for decades.
"Activation of hibernating fetal microchimeric cells," Dr. Miech writes, has "been postulated to result in the initiation of an autoimmune disease."

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues and cells as if they were foreign. 

Certain triggers, Dr. Miech states, may activate the "fetal microchimeric immune cells to attack the maternal host cells, resulting in an autoimmune disease," although these triggers "have not yet been definitely identified."

This would explain why women during their reproductive and post-reproductive years are more likely than men to develop many chronic autoimmune diseases.  According to Dr. Miech, such diseases have "had for decades an unexplainable increasing incidence."

"The consistently rising incidence of auto-immune diseases in women over the past four decades may be attributed to the increase in the utilization of abortion," he says.

Dr. Miech has also performed research linking the abortion drug RU 486 to a rare bacterial infection.

In that research, Dr. Miech showed that the anti-progesterone effects of Mifepristone cause changes in the cervix that allow C. sordellii, a common vaginal bacteria, to enter the cervical canal. C. sordellii thrives in this low-oxygen environment and derives nutrition from the decaying fetal tissue, leading to infection.

Related stories: Leading Researcher Proves RU-486 Causes Septic Shock Deaths


Fetal microchimerism occurs in normal human reproduction and is a relatively new discovery in biology.

Recent data in the scientific and medical literature indicates that some of the autoimmune diseases that show a predilection for women in their child-bearing years and beyond are linked to fetal michrochimerism from previous pregnancies. The pathological role of fetal microchimeric progenitor immature T cells in autoimmune disease in women is explored.

Fetal microchimerism is increased in women who had a termination of pregnancy and may be associated with the development of autoimmune disease later on in life. Furthermore, the consistently rising incidence of autoimmune diseases in women over the past four decades may be attributed to the increase in the utilization of abortion.

[Int J Clin Exp Med 2010; 3(2):164-168, , online 12 June 2010;
Life Site News; ALL Pro-Life Today | 18 June 2010]