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Steve Weatherbe

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Metastudy of over a million cases finds ‘significantly higher risk’ of premature birth after abortion

Steve Weatherbe

May 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A meta-analysis of 36 international studies involving more than one million women has concluded that abortions are associated with “significantly higher risk” of subsequent premature births, and underweight babies.

Prematurity is, in turn, associated with far greater risk of cerebral palsy and other conditions.

Brent Rooney of British Columbia’s Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition said, “In May 2016 abortion-preemie denial became impossible.”

The study appears in this month’s American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, authored by Dr. Gabrielle Saccone and her research associates. It showed that a prior abortion or miscarriage was associated with a 52 percent increased risk of prematurity and also of greater risk of lower gestational and birth weights.

Rooney noted that the Saccone study was the fourth metastudy “validating higher risk of premature delivery of babies for women with induced abortion history.” Even by 2004, he told LifeSiteNews, there was enough evidence for the State of Texas to require that every woman seeking an abortion to be offered a booklet titled “WKRT” for “Women’s Right to Know” summarizing the health impacts of abortion.  

According to the booklet, these include, according to “some large studies," a doubling of the risk of premature birth in later pregnancy if a woman has had two induced abortions. The same studies report an 800 percent increase in the risk of extremely early premature births (less than 28 weeks) for a woman who has experienced four or more induced abortions.

“Very premature babies, who have the highest risk of death, also have the highest risk for lasting disabilities, such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, lung and gastrointestinal problems, and vision and hearing loss.”

Rooney cited a 2002 Swedish study led by B. Jacobsson and B. Hagburg, reporting that while only 6.1 percent of babies born in Western Sweden from 1983 to 1990 were premature, they accounted for 41.5 percent of cerebral palsy cases. The cerebral palsy rate for babies born two months premature was 60 times that of the rate for those born on term.

However, abortion advocates have their studies too. For example, journalist Tara Haelle posted a story on DoubleXScience in 2013 that admitted surgical abortions did cause subsequent premature births in a few cases in the old days when cervices weren’t softened up first, but no more. The story, titled  “Maternal abortion history no longer a risk for preterm birth,” cited a single Scottish study from 2012 that analyzed data over three decades to conclude that new pre-operative treatments in the new millennium had eliminated the tissue damage old methods had produced and the risk of subsequent premature birth along with it.

But the Saccone metastudy, by no means the work of pro-life scientists (it recommends only that women be informed of the full range of alternative abortion methods) included 18 studies from the post-2000 era. The DoubeXScience article claims the results of the Scottish study, led by Clare Oliver-Williams, “shift the current consensus.” But offers no evidence that anyone’s opinion has changed but her own.

Rooney commented, “Let those Scottish ‘geniuses’ do their own 21st century meta-study to validate their mere theory.”

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