By Tim Waggoner
OTTAWA, July 30, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – According to new statistics released today from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), premature babies – babies born too soon and too small – accounted for a growing proportion of infant deaths. When linked with previous studies that have shown that abortion increases a woman’s chance of having a baby prematurely, the conclusion is that women who have had abortions are more likely to bear children who die as infants or suffer from severe health issues.
According to “Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2005 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set,” Vol. 57, No. 2, of the National Vital Statistics Report, low birth weight and preterm birth are leading causes of infant mortality and the rates of both have increased steadily since the mid-1980s.
Babies who died of preterm-related causes accounted for 36.5 percent of infant deaths in 2005, up from 34.6 percent in 2000.
More than a half million babies are born premature (less than 37 weeks gestation) each year and those who survive face the risk of life long health consequences, such as breathing and feeding problems, cerebral palsy, and learning problems.
Mortality rates for infants born even a few weeks early, or “late preterm” (between 34 weeks of gestation) were three times those for full-term infants.
The findings of the NCHS help identify abortion as a leading cause of infant mortality, with former studies having revealed that women who have had abortions in the past are much more likely to give birth prematurely.
An article appearing in a 2007 Journal of Reproductive Medicine concluded that nearly 32 percent of “very preterm” U.S. births, that is, before 32 weeks gestation, are due to the mother having had a prior abortion.
Furthermore, after analyzing data on 1,943 very preterm births, 276 moderately preterm babies and 618 full-term controls, Dr. Caroline Moreau of Hopital de Bicetre and colleagues concluded in 2005 that women with a history of abortion were 1.5 times more likely to give birth very prematurely (under 33 weeks gestation), and 1.7 times more likely to have a baby born extremely (under 28 weeks gestation) preterm. Their findings were reported in the April issue of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a peer-reviewed medical journal.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
New Study Confirms Abortion Increases Risk of Future Premature Births
Study: Previous Abortions Linked With Pre-Term Birth and Cerebral Palsy