Thursday June 17, 2010

Abortion May Increase Risk of Autoimmune Disease

By James Tillman

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, June 17, 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.

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