Abortion Increases Risk of Premature Birth for Next Baby Analysis of 36 Studies Finds

National   |   Conor Beck   |   Feb 5, 2016   |   1:00PM   |   Washington, DC

A new study shows that surgical abortion can increase the risk of premature birth in future pregnancy.

The study was performed by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University and involved analyzing 36 studies that enrolled more than 1 million women. The researchers found that the risk of future premature births after an abortion was small but significant, given the amount of women who had surgical abortions.

The study’s senior author, Vincenzo Berghella, M.D., Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, said that surgical abortion patients should “be informed about the potential risk to subsequent pregnancy.”

The full analysis found that of the 1,047,683 women enrolled in the 36 studies, women with a history of surgical abortions had a 5.7 percent higher risk of preterm birth compared to a control group of women who did not have abortions. They also had babies who were of lower birth weight and were small for their gestational age, according to the study.

According to a report about the study:

One reason to conduct the study is that the incidence of preterm births has been rising, and falling, in parallel to popularity of abortion, the vast majority of which, until late, have been surgical.

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Surgical evacuation of the uterus mechanically stretches the cervix, and does so quickly, Dr. Berghella says. “In normal birth, dilation of the cervix occurs slowly over a period of many hours. Mechanically stretching the cervix, however, may result in permanent physical injury to the cervix.” Resulting scar tissue, for example, could increase the probability of faulty placental implantation in the womb, and could increase risk for infectious diseases, he adds.

This is not the first time that a link has been found between abortion and pre-mature births in later pregnancies. LifeNews has previously reported on the existence of 127 published peer-reviewed studies that showed increased risk of pre-mature birth from surgical abortion. Another European study, published in 2015, found an increased risk of subsequent premature birth by 29 percent and the risk of very premature birth by a full 69 percent, LifeNews reported.

Berghella explains of the new study: “These data — the most comprehensive look at the issue to date — find that prior surgical uterine evacuation may be an independent risk factor for preterm birth. The findings warrant caution in the use of these surgical techniques, and should encourage the development of safer surgery as well as use of medical methods.”

The study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.