PARIS, April 29, 2005 ( – A new study from France has confirmed that abortion increases a woman’s risk of delivering future children prematurely; the risk of very preterm delivery (less than 33 weeks) increases even more dramatically.

After studying 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 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.

Previous research, also conducted in Paris, revealed that the odds of a woman delivering prematurely increase with the number of abortions in her history, with the likelihood doubled in women who have had two or more abortions. Other research corroborated these findings, reporting that “the risk of preterm birth increased with the number of abortions,” according to a 2004 study.

Moreau’s group revealed that the preterm delivery risk resulted from a tendency for mothers to develop premature rupture of the membranes, pre-term hemorrhaging, and spontaneous preterm labour of unknown cause.

Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition researcher Brent Rooney and Dr. Byron Calhoun revealed in 2003 that, in women with a history of four or more abortions, the risk of a future extremely early premature birth (less than 28 weeks gestation) is increased by eight times. In addition, Rooney relates German research that revealed that a history of two abortions caused a five-fold increase in tendency to very premature babies, while three or more abortions increased the incidence to eight times the norm. This massive 1998 study followed women in the German state of Bavaria, the former home of the current Pope Benedict XVI.

Pre-term pregnancies contribute to a host of problems, including an increased risk of infant death, and a significant increase in the tendency for the baby to develop cerebral palsy. Rooney cites statistics indicating, “The cerebral palsy risk in extremely early premature birth babies is about 38 times higher than in the overall population of newborns.”

In a coming article, two medical doctors and Rooney estimate that there are nearly 1,100 excess cases of U.S. newborns yearly with cerebral palsy due to their mothers’ prior induced abortions.

See related coverage:

1,100 Excess Brain Damaged Babies are Born Yearly in US Due to Previous Abortions

Abortion Linked to first Increase in US Infant Mortality in 44 Years

Read a full PDF version of Rooney’s paper cited above including references.