Pro-Life Doctor Upset March of Dimes Ignores Abortion-Premature Birth Link

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

Pro-Life Doctor Upset March of Dimes Ignores Abortion-Premature Birth Link

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 9
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Last month, the March of Dimes released a report chiding the U.S. for failing to improve premature birth numbers and giving the country a "D" for its performance. The group ignores the link between premature birth and abortion and pro-life physician is upset about it.

As reported last month, 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.

However, 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.

Joseph De Cook, M.D., vice president of the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), talked about the report with The Bulletin newspaper.

"More than 50 studies have demonstrated a statistically significant increase in premature birth or low birth weight risk in women with prior induced abortions," he said.

De Cook criticized the March of Dimes for following the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which has been overrun by political activists who refuse to acknowledge any negative consequences women face from abortions.

"It’s all political," De Cook told the Bulletin. "You just can’t say anything that puts a dirty face on abortion. You just can’t."

"They’ll analyze studies and only use those that show no link to abortion," De Cook added about ACOG and the March of Dimes. "They simply won’t consider studies showing connections."

De Cook told the newspaper that the ignoring of studies showing medical problems resulting from abortions extends to the office of the Surgeon General. He said the office conducted a conference in June where three pro-life physicians talked about abortion problems and were ignored.

"Three of our members were there, and said they brought it up but everyone avoided the topic like the plague," he explained. "It was brushed off. So I guess now they’ll say ‘the surgeon general’s office never came to any conclusion about this’ but that’s only because they never discussed it."

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.

Related web sites:
IOM Report –

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