New Study Finds Abortion Linked With Pre-Term Births, Cerebral Palsy

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 1, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Study Finds Abortion Linked With Pre-Term Births, Cerebral Palsy Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 1,

Washington, DC ( — A new study published in this month’s Journal of Reproductive Medicine finds abortion linked with premature births and cerebral palsy. Physicians in Canada and the U.S. teamed up for the study and examined data from more than four million births.

Dr. Byron Calhoun, Professor and Vice Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at West Virginia University, estimates that roughly a third of babies who are considered "very pre-term" result from a woman’s decision to have a prior abortion.

Babies who spend less than 32 weeks in the womb almost certainly suffer from very-low-birth-weight, the study found.

The researchers estimated that, of the 32 percent of babies who suffer from very-low-birth-weight, eight percent develop cerebral palsy.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, commented on the results.

"For years, we have warned that abortion harms women, and children, and now researchers are certifying that the victims’ future siblings incur a greater risk of lifelong anguish and disease," he told

"The time has come for everyone to pause and reconsider the cycle of suffering that society continues to inflict on future generations in the name of ‘choice,’" he added. "Women deserve to be informed–not encouraged to conform–on the issue of abortion."

This isn’t the first study to focus on abortion and its link to premature births.

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.

Research also shows 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.