Research Finds Link Between Abortion and Premature Birth

A collection of studies that was reviewed by researchers showed that mothers who underwent an abortion had a greater risk of having a premature baby with subsequent pregnancies.

With November marking Prematurity Awareness Month pro-life supporters are eager to highlight the dangers posed to women who undergo an abortion and to once again stand up and fight for life.

A premature birth is any birth that occurs before the 37 weeks gestation and in the United States alone, more than half a million babies are born premature each year, according to statistics from the March of Dimes.

A team of Canadian researchers published a paper in the British Journal of Obstetrics in 2009 that used data from 37 studies regarding abortion. The researchers found that having a prior abortion increased the risk of subsequent preterm births by 35 percent, while having more than one prior abortion increased the risk by 93 percent.

Children born of mothers with a previous abortion had a greater chance of being born prematurely and with a lower birth weight. This has showed to be linked to physical and developmental problems, such as epilepsy, autism, mental retardation and cerebral palsy.

Brent Rooney, Director of Research for the Reduce Preterm Birth Coalition, had previously stated that abortions continue to be performed, even though there is a large body of evidence that suggests the serious effects of such procedures.

Pro-life advocates contend that the study is proof that those women who suffer a loss during pregnancy, whether intentional or not, need access to abortion counseling, as a result of post-abortion trauma.

"The common perception seems to be that abortion solves the immediate problem of a crisis pregnancy and that therefore it must be a positive thing for women," David Reardon, Elliot Institute director, said in a statement.

"However, more and more studies such as this one show that abortion can have a severe and lasting impact on women's lives, shaping their futures and the futures of their families for years to come," he added.