“We can now admit that surgical abortion increases risk of subsequent premature delivery BECAUSE SURGICAL ABORTION IS ‘OBSOLETE’.”
There’s just one problem—Surgical abortion is not ‘obsolete’, it is still used for more than 75% of abortions.
Chemical Abortion accounts for 18% to 22% of induced abortions. Its opposite,
Surgical Abortion, accounts for 77% to 81% of induced abortions.
Preterm Birth Linked to Induced Abortion
by Rebecca G. Oas, Ph.D. | Reproductive Research Audit
A $200 million per year “Philanthropic Charitable” Foundation Promotes ABORTION as “The Cure” for Premature Birth—a “Cure” not merely worse than the disease, Abortion CAUSES the Disease.
The Medical Research Establishment is so heavily invested in abortion that it is willing to undergo Derangement of its Fundamental Scientific Objectivity rather than contradict the ‘abortion is safe’ dogma.
It’s as if someone blew the all-clear.
A recent study found a “strong independent relationship” between a history of abortion and the risk of a subsequent preterm birth. For the pro-life community, this comes as a vindication of many years of work to draw attention to the link, despite a lack of attention from the medical community and outright denial from pro-abortion advocates.
However, the study authors attribute the risk to abortion methods now considered obsolete.
According to the study published by open-source journal PLOS One, which analyzed data from Scotland, induced abortion was indeed linked with preterm birth, with the risk increasing in relation to the number of previous abortions. However, the study found that the association decreased over the study period between 1980 and 2008. The authors speculated that this could be due to the use of more modern abortion methods less likely to cause cervical trauma, particularly medication abortion[, i.e., RU-486].
The authors posit that the risk of preterm birth was increased in women who had surgical abortions without cervical pre-treatment. They hypothesized that the use of mechanical methods to dilate the cervix might cause trauma that could increase the difficulty of carrying a pregnancy to full term.
The authors conclude by recommending that the continued modernization of abortion methods “may be an effective long-term strategy to reduce global rates of preterm birth.”
On the one hand, it’s a surprising about-face: as recently as less than [a year] ago, Robin McMarty of RH Reality Check claimed, “There is no major medical group in the [US] that claims abortion causes preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies.” This was a paraphrase of the same assertion previously made by Paige Johnson, vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, and echoed by other pro-abortion groups.
On the other hand, this report and its recommendations manage to finally admit the existence of the link while attempting to further the pro-abortion cause: first, by fixing the blame squarely on outdated practices, and second, by advocating for increased use of more modern methods.
Underlying these findings is a highly disturbing reality: for decades, abortion techniques in routine use contributed significantly to the rate of preterm birth, which is associated with infant mortality and a wide range of health consequences that can impact the lifelong well-being of the child. The World Health Organization’s fact sheet on preterm birth estimates that 1 million babies die annually due to complications of preterm birth. With regard to causes, the WHO says:
“Common causes of preterm birth include multiple pregnancies, infections and chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure; however, often no cause is identified. There is also a genetic influence. Better understanding of the causes and mechanisms will advance the development of solutions to prevent preterm birth.”
Given the enormous impact of preterm birth on public health, the fact that the link to abortion is only being widely admitted now – after the methods being blamed are already obsolete – begs some serious questions. Is the continuing controversy around abortion having a chilling effect on researchers’ willingness to study its negative side effects, their ability to secure funding to do so, and their ability to receive objective peer reviews? Is the principle driving medical recommendations “first, do no harm to the patient,” or “first, do no harm to women’s ability to access abortions?”
While it may be useful to identify the risks associated with an obsolete practice as a matter of trivia, medical research is most useful when it leads to the abandonment of risky practices while they are still causing harm. If this new study was the first to identify a link between induced abortion and preterm birth, we could fault the medical community for its lack of curiosity. But this study helpfully cites previous work that reveals the same trend – work that received more attention from the pro-life community than from anywhere else. Pro-life gynecologist Dr. Byron Calhoun wrote an excellent briefing paper for C-FAM revealing the ways medical journals long attempted to play down the link.
Perhaps it’s time for some new recommendations: first, some much-needed introspection within the medical and academic communities with regard to how abortion politics impacts their ability to be objective and intellectually honest, and second, a call to revisit some of the other health risks associated with abortion – such as breast cancer – which the same people are still denying in precisely the same way as they denied the risk of preterm birth until a few days ago.
Pro-abort logic: Save babies by killing babies
To suggest that abortion is the cure for infant mortality is so bizarre that I had to read NOW President Terry O’Neill’s piece in the Huffington Post twice to make sure that’s what she actually wrote.
Here’s just a nugget of the nonsense:
We have a premature birth crisis in this country that can be directly linked to our failure to provide adequate contraception and abortion care.
Speaking like the most determined of population controllers, Ms. O’Neill posits that preventing contraception, and murdering in the womb those children who managed to get conceived anyway, is the best cure for premature birth.
I don’t know about you, but I grow weary of the discussion about “adequate contraception.” Even before Obamacare, were there places in America that were somehow bereft of over-the-counter and prescription contraceptives? Maybe in Alaska at its most remote but I’m not even sure about that. Let’s just assume that, for better or worse, everyone has access to contraception.
Ms. O’Neill then touches on the high teenage birth rates in rural America, and definitely this is a problem. But easy access to contraception is as much a contributing factor as is teenage boredom. Somewhere between the sexual revolution and now, we threw up our collective hands and said there’s no sense trying to teach teens abstinence. Instead, we taught them about birth control and everything from television and movies to Planned Parenthood’s Exclaim Campaign convinced teens that having sex was healthy and fun and the best way to make it through those awkward high school years.
But let’s move on to “abortion care,” which Ms. O’Neill says is vital in solving the infant mortality crisis. I suppose she’s thinking that if we kill babies in the womb, we don’t have to technically label them infants. If we call them fetuses, or use the term most popular in abortion clinics, the “products of conception,” we can cook the books on infant mortality.
Or, we could address the infant mortality crisis by taking a look, as the U.S. Congress did recently, at how we can improve a child’s first 1,000 days of life – from conception to the second birthday. As my colleague Marie Smith posted on her website for the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (part of Gospel of Life ministries), a hearing in March before the House Global Health Subcommittee brought together experts on malnutrition who testified that providing adequate nutrition for a child’s first 1,000 days affects virtually every day that follows, and it looms large where both infant and maternal mortality are concerned.
In his opening statement, N.J. Rep. Chris Smith (full disclosure: he is Marie Smith’s husband) explained the critical need to focus on nutrition during this time period:
“Children who do not receive adequate nutrition in utero are more likely to experience lifelong cognitive and physical deficiencies, such as stunting. UNICEF estimates that one in four children worldwide is stunted due to lack of adequate nutrition. Children who are chronically undernourished within the first two years of their lives also often have impaired immune systems that are incapable of protecting them against life-threatening ailments, such as pneumonia and malaria.
“Adults who were stunted as children face increased risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Mothers who were malnourished as girls are 40 percent are more likely to die during childbirth, experience debilitating complications like obstetric fistula, and deliver children who perish before reaching age five.”
Wouldn’t it be a kinder, more humane, more woman-friendly solution to try to improve infant mortality through better nutrition rather than more abortion?
Ms. O’Neill also points out the increase in maternal mortality in the U.S. and, again, wags that finger of blame in the direction of the pro-life movement. While it’s true that more women are dying in childbirth now than 20 years ago, the causes are varied and do not include lack of access to abortion.
According to Reuters:
“World Health Organization (WHO) experts said the increase in the U.S. mortality rate may be a statistical blip. Or it might be due to increased risks from obesity, diabetes and older women giving birth.”
Marleen Temmerman, the director of reproductive health and research at WHO, said more analysis was needed. She told a news conference:
“It’s difficult to say how many deaths are really related to increasing age, but what we know is older age in pregnant women is contributing more to the risk for diabetes and more hypertension related problems.”
WHO death-rates expert Colin Mathers said improved data collection could also affect the figures.”
The United States should certainly be doing better than it is in terms of infant and maternal mortality. But to suggest that abortion will improve either of these statistics is delusional. Abortion doesn’t solve problems. It creates them.