MONTREAL, February 13, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Yet another study, this time conducted in Canada, has found a clear link between induced abortion and a much higher risk of subsequent pregnancies ending in preterm birth.

The link between preterm birth and abortion has been established by numerous studies.

Preterm babies have much higher than normal risks of suffering medical problems including cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, lung impairment and serious infections.

The research carried out at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McGill University in Montreal reviewed the records of women who delivered between April 2001 and March 2006 using data from the McGill Obstetric and Neonatal Database.

The women were categorized as having had no prior induced abortions, one prior induced abortion, or two or more prior induced abortions.

Of the total of 17,916 women included in the study, 2276 (13%) had undergone one prior induced abortion, and 862 (5%) had undergone two or more prior induced abortions. 

The researchers found that, on average, women who had one prior induced abortion were 45% more likely to have premature births by 32 weeks, 71% more likely to have premature births by 28 weeks, and 117% more likely to have premature births by 26 weeks.

The study also found that the risk of premature births increased in women who had more than one prior abortion.

"Our study showed a significant increase in the risk of preterm delivery in women with a history of previous induced abortion," said lead researcher Dr. Ghislain Hardy. "This association was stronger with decreasing gestational age," she concluded.

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Brent Rooney, the research director of the Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition (RPRC) in Vancouver, praised the work of the McGill researchers in bringing to light the risks of preterm birth from induced abortion. He said the health consequences of preterm birth to the children, and the financial costs associated with their illnesses, must be considered in an overall assessment of risks. 

"Extremely preterm births, that is a delivery before 28 week's gestation, have 129 times the CP (Cerebral Palsy) risk as full-term newborns according to the 2008 Dr. Eveline Himpens meta-analysis," Rooney told LifeSiteNews.com, "and very preterm newborns (under 32 week's gestation) have 55 times the CP risk as do full-term newborn babies."

"Moreover," Rooney said, "these preterm newborns have higher risk of mental retardation, autism, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, respiratory distress, gastrointestinal injury, and serious infections."

Rooney noted that "the average lifetime cost (medical + non-medical + lost income) for an child born with CP exceeds $2 million," and "according to Harvard University professor Michael Ganz, average lifetime cost of autism to a U.S. citizen is $3.2 million." 

"When Dr. Henry Morgentaler started doing illegal induced abortions in 1968 in Quebec, he and his followers told women that IAs were 'safe,' in fact, much safer than delivery of a baby, even therapeutic and liberating for women,” Rooney remarked.

"However, in 2007 Dr. Byron Calhoun and colleagues estimated that in 2002 there were 1,096 U.S. newborns under 1,500 grams born with cerebral palsy due to their mothers' prior induced abortions. That is 1,096 CP cases for only one country, for only one year, and ignores those newborn babies over 1,500 grams birth weight.

An abstract of the McGill University study titled "Effect of Induced Abortions on Early Preterm Births and Adverse Perinatal Outcomes" was published in the February issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada