Associated Press Falsely Claims Abortions Don’t Cause Infertility Problems

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 16, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Associated Press Falsely Claims Abortions Don’t Cause Infertility Problems Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 16,

New York, NY ( — The Associated Press was quick to seize on a story Thursday that wrongly claims the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 poses no medical risks for women. However, the international news service went further by writing a biased news article claiming abortions do not cause future infertility or sterility problems.

In his article, "Study Finds No Risk from Abortion Pills" AP reporter Mike Stobbe claims "previous research has shown surgical abortions don’t increase the risk of problems in later pregnancies."

Yet research shows that abortion can lead to infertility by increasing the risk of miscarriages.

A 1986 report in the medical journal Epidemiology reveals women with a history of abortion have a greater risk of fetal loss than women who had no previous abortions. Women with two prior pregnancies carried to term and no abortions had the lowest risk, while women with two prior abortions had the highest risk.

Also, a 1991 British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology article revealed that women with a history of abortion had a 1.5-1.7 times higher risk of ectopic pregnancy than women who had previously carried a pregnancy to term.

According to the Elliot Institute, an Illinois group that studies abortion’s effects on women, about three to five percent of aborted women are left inadvertently sterile as a result of an abortion. The risk of sterility is even greater for women who are infected with a venereal disease at the time of the abortion.

Even Planned Parenthood of Australia, one of the leading abortion businesses there, acknowledges the future risk of problem pregnancies caused by abortion.

Its web site includes consent forms that list 12 serious complications from a first trimester abortion.

It says that some complications include: "infections … a tear in the cervix that may require stitches … incompetent cervix/stenosed cervix (too tight or too loose cervix which may impair future fertility), Asherman’s syndrome (cessation of periods and adhesions in uterus that may impair future fertility), depression or mood disturbance, suicide. …"

Although the consent forms do not say so, infection and a damaged cervix are recognized risk factors for premature birth.

The risk of post-abortion problems in future pregnancy is also seen in countries with abnormally high abortion rates, such as Russia and Vietnam.

Vladimir Serov, the deputy director of the Russian Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology Center at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, told the Russian media source Regnum that 120,000 women are injured each year from legal abortions.

He said numerous Russian women suffer from sterility, endometriosis and other problems following abortions.

This has led to a significant problem of premature births and Serov said Russian women typically have 160,000 miscarriages a year and there are 60,000 premature births annually.

Vietnam is experiencing high rates of infertility among women there.

Dr. Le Thi Phuong Lan, deputy director of the Central Hospital for Obstetrics and Gynaecology’s Reproductive Assistance Centre, has noticed the recent infertility problems. He said that a survey conducted by Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City found that women who had abortions were 5.2 percent more likely to suffer from infertility.

Georgette Forney, the director of the Silent No More Awareness campaign, had an abortion at 16 and has spoken with thousands of women who have had abortions and regret their decisions. She knows of many who have had future pregnancy problems because of their abortions.

She tells, "Hearing woman after woman speak about the problems created by abortion really puts this issue in perspective."

"Each woman’s story is different but the problems we faced; the nightmares, substance abuse, sterility, suicidal thoughts, self-hatred and relationship difficulties show the immenseness of the pain."

This isn’t the first time the mainstream media has tried to dismiss any connection between abortion and subsequent pregnancy problems.

In a November 16 story, ABC News reporter Dan Harris said that crisis pregnancy centers "mislead women by telling them … that abortions can lead to breast cancer, sterility and depression."

He claimed that the information has been "long discredited by the medical community."

The Chicago Tribune has also come under fire for denying the abortion-infertility link as well.