Young Age & Abortion During the Second Trimester are Risk Factors for Repeat Abortion (AJOG, 8/10)

Late-Term Abortion Ups Repeat Pregnancy Termination Risk Women who have an abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy are more likely than women who terminate their pregnancies earlier to have repeat abortions, new research shows. And women who initially have a late abortion are also substantially more likely to have a second late abortion, Dr. Oskari Heikinheimo of Helsinki University Hospital in Finland and colleagues found. They also found that being younger than 20 sharply increased a woman's risk of having repeat abortions, and of having repeat late abortions. The further along a woman is in her pregnancy the more risky it is to terminate the pregnancy, the researchers note in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. "Several studies have shown that the later the abortion is performed, the greater the risk of complications is," Heikinheimo explained in an email to Reuters Health. "The most common complications are bleeding and infection." Abortion is still very common around the world even though birth control options have improved in recent years. Late termination of pregnancy — meaning abortion at 13 weeks gestation or later — represents 5 to 10 percent of all abortions, the researchers note, while from 30 to 47 percent of women who have an abortion will have another later on. To better understand factors associated with repeat abortion, as well as risk factors for having an abortion after the first trimester, Heikinheimo and colleagues looked at 41,750 Finnish women who had an abortion between 2000 and 2005 — 1,900 of whom terminated their pregnancies in the second trimester. Compared with women who had first trimester abortions, those...

Leading Researcher Confirms Unborn Children Can Feel Pain at 20 Weeks

As people in India join a national abortion debate following an appeals court’s rejection of a couple’s request for a late-term abortion, the issue of fetal pain is coming into play. One aspect of the debate revolves around whether or not unborn children have the capacity to feel pain. Kanwaljeet Anand, a pediatrician and fetal pain specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, is considered the top American expert on the subject. Anand has conducted research on the subject for over two decades and he also happens to be a native Indian. Anand told the Telegraph of India newspaper that scientists have seen how operations and other procedures involving unborn children in the womb have shown clear evidence that a baby feels pain before birth. “The evidence is undeniable,” he told the newspaper. “Even a 20-week foetus is likely to feel pain, and excruciating pain.” He told the newspaper he thinks unborn children even have the ability to feel more intense pain, including in an abortion, than newborn babies, children or even adults. “This is because pain transmission pathways have developed in the foetus, but not the pain modulation pathways that are not effective until six weeks after birth,” he explained. “There is more than enough evidence now. But no one is as blind as someone who doesn’t want to see,” he said, adding that not all doctors have been convinced by his studies. [6 August 08, Ertelt, www.LifeNews.com #4386, Bombay,...