The hidden abortion-preterm birth connection

A newly released research paper charges that researchers are burying data
that shows a link between abortion and dangerous preterm births in later

BY {related_entries id=”alternate_author”}The hidden abortion-preterm birth

WASHINGTON, DC, June 1 (C-FAM) A newly released research paper charges that
medical journals and researchers are burying data that shows a link between
abortion and dangerous preterm births in later pregnancies.

Dr. Byron Calhoun makes these charges in “Abortion and Preterm Birth: Why
Medical Journals Aren’t Giving Us The Real Picture,” released by C-FAM.

Calhoun, Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Obstetrics and
Gynecology at the West Virginia University-Charleston and a pioneer in
delivering perinatal hospice care to unborn babies and their parents, cites
127 published peer review articles spanning five decades all showing an
increased risk of preterm birth following an abortion. Even so, such studies
tend to hide this finding and not report it in the paper’s abstract or
conclusion. Not only do these tactics make it harder for readers to see the
abortion-preterm birth link, but it also could be a sign of ideological
preference for ignoring negative effects associated with abortion.

A case in point cited by Dr. Calhoun is an important Chinese study published
in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, which finds that history of
combined surgical-medical abortion is associated with increased preterm
birth risk of over 200 percent. It also finds an increased risk of over 360
percent for women who had medical abortion with curettage, 1 in 5 women in
the study. Despite these findings, the paper’s abstract trumpets that the
most important conclusion was that “history of multiple first trimester
mifepristone-induced abortions is not associated with a higher risk of
preterm delivery among singleton births in the first subsequent
pregnancy.” The most important results of the study are obscured,
requiring the reader to dig deep into the paper to find them.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the existence of the preterm
birth-abortion connection, Calhoun writes, “the leading medical
organizations for women’s healthcare, including the American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in their online Compendium for 2011,
refuse to acknowledge the increased associated risk of preterm labor or the
substantial body of literature raising this concern.” ACOG’s disregard
of the abortion-preterm birth link coincides with their longstanding
pro-abortion advocacy.

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According to the recently published World Health Organization Global Action
Report on Preterm Birth, about 15 million babies are born prematurely every
year. That is more than 1 in every 10 babies born around the world. Over 1
million children die every year as a result of complications related to
prematurity, and many more suffer lifetime health problems and disabilities.
The costs of preterm birth, both financial and in terms of human suffering,
are high and rising as preterm birth rates continue to increase in virtually
all countries with reliable data.

Despite the gravity of the situation, the WHO report concludes that the
causes and mechanisms of preterm birth still remain largely unknown. One
reason is that medical journals tend to misrepresent the truth about factors
associated with preterm birth and bury the findings that show connection to

Calhoun points out that the true victims of this such misreporting are not
researchers, but women who are not given appropriate counseling on the link
between previous abortion and preterm birth.

Reprinted with permission from

Michelle Joseph
t. 011 648 5860
m. 082 609 6919

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