March of Dimes Gives US a "D" on Premature Birth, Ignores Abortion Link

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 12, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

March of Dimes Gives US a "D" on Premature Birth, But Ignores Abortion Link

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 12
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — The March of Dimes released a report on Wednesday chiding the U.S. for failing to improve premature birth numbers and giving the country a "D" for its performance. However the charity’s report includes no mention of the link between premature birth and an easily avoidable risk factor: abortion.

The March of Dimes released its first-ever Premature Birth Report Card tallying the progress states have made in reducing premature birth figures.

Eighteen states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia all received failing grades and no state earned a top score in the report.

Only one state, Vermont, received a "B" and 23 states were given a "D" by the charitable group.

The March of Dimes says premature birth affects 530,000 babies annually and can lead to numerous physical or mental disabilities and conditions such as asthma, blindness or hearing loss.

"It is unacceptable that our nation is failing so many pre-term babies," March of Dimes president Jennifer Howse said in a statement accompanying the report. "We are determined to find and implement solutions to prevent preterm birth, based on research, best clinical practices, and improved education for moms."

Unfortunately, the March of Dimes, in its full length report, never mentions abortion despite the fact that it increases the risk of premature births in subsequent pregnancies and is an easily avoidable factor.

In July 2006, a report from the Institute of Medicine, a National Academies of Science organization, found that first-trimester abortion, the most common type of abortion, is linked to an increasing risk of premature birth.

The IOM report, "Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention," is a list of "immutable medical risk factors associated with preterm birth" and "prior first-trimester abortion" is listed third among other risk factors that increase the risk of having a subsequent premature birth.

The IOM reported that premature births before 37 weeks gestation represent 12.5 percent of all U.S. births, a 30% increase since 1981. Abortion became legally accessible in 1973 and the number of abortions peaked in the early 1980s as it became more ingrained in society.

The IOM report wasn’t the first to show the abortion-premature birth link.

A May 2005 study in France showed that an induced abortion can increase the risk by premature birth in subsequent pregnancies by as much as 70 percent. That’s because the abortions can damage the lining of the uterus, where unborn children grow and develop.

Caroline Moreau, of France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research, headed up the study and based it on medical notes and interviews of 2837 French women who had a premature birth during 1997, which represents about one-third of the total number of premature births that year.

Those who gave birth between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy were 40 percent more likely to have had an abortion compared with mothers who gave birth within two weeks of the expected due date.

Mothers who gave birth to babies from 22 to 27 weeks into the pregnancy were 70 percent more likely to have had an abortion.

Moreau told The Age newspaper at the time that low level infections introduced due to the abortion may come back in a subsequent pregnancy.
She also indicated the cervix may not seal off the uterus completely following an abortion. That would allow bacteria to enter the uterus, causing infections.

During a pregnancy, the cervix is normally rigid and closed, but, in order to perform an abortion, the cervix must be stretched open considerably. While the cervix is forcibly dilated, the cervix muscles can be torn and occasionally ripped off the uterine wall.

Moreau also said surgical instruments during an abortion could damage the lining of the uterus, making it less effective and affecting the development of the baby in a later pregnancy.

A 2003 article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found at least sixty significant studies published since 1963 report an abortion-premature birth link.

Meanwhile, teenagers who have an abortion also have a higher premature birth risk than adults, according to several research articles, because of the higher risk of infection and weakened cervix.

Related web sites:
IOM Report –

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