Study Shows One Abortion Ups Premature Birth Risk for Women by 36 Percent
A new study by a Canadian researcher finds that women who have just one abortion increase the risk of having a premature birth in a subsequent pregnancy by 36 percent. The research is the latest in a long string of studies confirming the link between abortion and premature birth.
With premature births leading to an assortment of physical and mental health problems for unborn children, the researcher says women should be told of the risk before having an abortion.
Dr. Prakesh Shah, a professor at the Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto is the main author of the new study, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
He found that women who have just one abortion in either the first or second trimester of pregnancy, when abortions are most routinely performed, have a 35 percent increased risk of having a low-birth-weight baby in the next pregnancy and a 36 percent increased risk of having a baby born prematurely.
The risk substantially increases for the millions of women who have had more than one abortion and become pregnant.
In those cases, women having multiple abortions have a 93 percent increased risk of subsequently having a premature baby and a 72 percent increased risk of having an underweight baby.
Shah says that the reason for the post-abortion problems in future births is likely because the abortion can cause damage to the woman's cervix.
The Canadian pediatrician and medical professor told the London Daily Mail that women need to be informed about these very real medical risks from abortion.
"When a woman comes for induced termination of pregnancy, she should be counseled about that risk. At least she will be able to make an informed choice," he said.
"I think it should not be used as a way of saying, this is bad and we should not be doing this kind of thing," he added. "There is an association which we should be aware of, and we should let mothers be aware."
The new research is an analysis of 37 studies around the world carried out between 1965 and 2001 to determine whether a previous abortion has any effect on subsequent births.
The new study follows on the heels of European researcher Dr Robbert van Oppenraaij telling colleagues at the annual European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting in Amsterdam that an abortion increases the risk of having a premature birth in a subsequent pregnancy.
He says one induced abortion raises the risk of premature birth in a next pregnancy by 20 percent.
Two or more abortions raises the risk by 90 percent and doubles the risk of a very premature birth, at 34 weeks or less.
"It can be concluded that a history of abortion is associated with an increased risk for premature delivery and very premature delivery," he said.
In February, another study confirmed the link between abortion and subsequent premature births when a woman is pregnant again.
Dr. Manfred Voigt led the study, published in the German medical magazine Z Geburtshilfe Neonatol.
According to the research, women who have one prior abortion boost their risk for a very premature birth in a future pregnancy by 30 percent.
And last month, Roger W. Harms, M.D., a Mayo Clinic obstetrician and medical editor-in-chief, said abortions can cause women problems with subsequent pregnancies.
Harm says there are definitely cases when physicians see "an abortion cause problems in a subsequent pregnancy."
"During a surgical abortion, the fetus is removed from the uterus — often with a vacuum device, a syringe or a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge (curette) — as an outpatient surgical procedure," Harms explains.
In some cases, "a surgical abortion may weaken the cervix or cause scarring on the inside of the uterus."
"If such damage occurs, surgery may be needed to correct the problems before a woman can conceive again or carry a subsequent pregnancy to term," he said.
[September 16, 2009, Ertelt, Toronto, Canada, www.LifeNews.com, http://www.lifenews.com/int1321.html ]
Researcher: Study Showing Abortion-Premature Birth Risk Points to Cerebral Palsy
A Canadian researcher says a new study showing confirmation of the link between abortion and premature birth is significantly important. Brent Rooney says the new study from Dr. Prakesh Shah, a professor at the Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, is a meta-analysis.
That means Shah didn't conduct just one individual study but took a look 37 published studies in medical journals conducted over the years to find out an overall conclusion.
Shah's analysis found women who have just one abortion in either the first or second trimester of pregnancy have a 35 percent increased risk of having a low-birth-weight baby in the next pregnancy and a 36 percent increased risk of having a baby born prematurely.
Women having multiple abortions have a 93 percent increased risk of subsequently having a premature baby and a 72 percent increased risk of having an underweight baby.
Rooney talked with LifeNews.com and noted the impact of the Shah report.
''Suction' (vacuum aspiration) abortion was invented by doctors in communist China and 'announced' to the world in 1958 in the Chinese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology," he said. "Fifty years later the British Medical Journal had that 1958 article translated into English."
"From 1958 to 2009 there has never been a 'study of studies' (termed “meta-analysis") or systematic review" of the literature on the link between abortion and premature birth.
He said the Shah meta-study showed "very strong evidence [that] the most common induced abortion procedure, 'suction' abortion" has a "risk of a later preterm birth or the low birth weight baby."
The practical impact is also important as Rooney's own research with medical doctors from 2007 shows there were 1,096 newborn babies in the United States born at a low birth-weight, and who developed cerebral palsy, due to their mother's prior induced abortions.
The cerebral palsy link is important because "babies under 32 weeks' gestation have 55 times the cerebral palsy risk as full-term (at least 37 weeks) newborns."
As a result, if abortions increase the risk of a low birth-weight baby and low birth-weigh significantly contributes to an unborn child having cerebral palsy, then the performance of abortions clearly results in more children diagnosed with the condition.
Rooney also noted a small study of studies conducted by Dr. Hanes Swingle of the University of Southern Alabama in February.
"Swingle reported that women with prior induced abortions raised their relative odds of a birth under 32 weeks' gestation by 64 percent," he said. "Dr. Swingle and colleagues used data from four prior studies to get that result."
Rooney agrees with Shah that "women should receive informed medical consent about the abortion-premature birth risk of prior induced abortions before the procedure is performed."
[September 17, 2009, Ertelt, Toronto, Cana
da, (LifeNews.com, http://www.lifenews.com/int1322.html ]
Second Abortion Increases Risk of Premature Babies: Canadian Study
A new Canadian study has shown that abortion increases the risk of future premature pregnancies and low birth-weight babies; however, the author has refused to say that abortion should be avoided, instead calling for improved abortion techniques.
Published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Canadian researchers found that women who had undergone a first or second trimester of pregnancy, when most are conducted, increased the risk of low birth-weight babies and premature babies 35 and 36 per cent respectively.
Those women who had undergone multiple abortions had a 72 per cent increased risk for low birth weight and 93 per cent risk of prematurity.
The figures come from an analysis of 37 studies around the world, carried out between 1965 and 2001, to discover reasons why babies are born underweight and premature.
Far from recommending that women not have abortions, the lead author of the study, Dr. Prakesh Shah of the department of paediatrics at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto, said that the solution is to improve abortion techniques.
However, "when a woman comes for induced termination of pregnancy, she should be counselled about that risk. At least she will be able to make an informed choice," he said.
Shah told media that he was fearful that "anti-abortion groups" would seize upon the study as proof of the damage abortion does to women.
"I think it should not be used as a way of saying, this is bad and we should not be doing this kind of thing. There is an association which we should be aware of, and we should let mothers be aware. I don't want unintended pregnancies to increase."
The Guardian newspaper reports that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists concurs. The RCOG spoke of the "importance of support for women's choices." "Abortion remains an essential part of women's healthcare services," they said.
Professor Philip Steer, editor in chief of BJOG, was also anxious that the study not be used by the pro-life movement. "The most important message is not that this should be used in any way to prevent women having a termination of pregnancy.
"The effect has to be balanced against the serious effects of forcing women to continue with unwanted pregnancies," he said. "Any medical procedure is likely to have side-effects."
Anthony Ozimic of Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) commented, however, that the evidence speaks for itself. "The more evidence which emerges about the harm abortion causes, the more the supporters of abortion insist that abortion not be restricted. We will be exposing the contradictions in their responses to the study's findings."
[September 17, 2009; Hilary White, www.LifeSiteNews.com; http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09091703.html]