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Abortion raises risk for subsequent babies

WASHINGTON (BP)–A new analysis of 37 different studies shows abortion entails a “significantly increased risk” of premature birth and low birth weight in a woman’s subsequent babies. The report found a greater risk of such results with multiple abortions.

The meta-analysis by Canadian researcher Prakesh Shah found that a woman who had an abortion in the first six months of a pregnancy later had a 35 percent greater risk of a baby with low birth weight and a 36 percent increased risk of a premature baby.

Additionally, the analysis showed a woman with more than one abortion had a 72 percent greater risk for a low-birth weight child and a 93 percent increased risk for a premature baby.

The meta-analysis by Shah, a pediatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, was published Sept. 16 in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Shah’s research spanned 37 studies from 1965 to 2001.

Shah stated that he did not want his analysis used against abortion, but was quoted by The Guardian in London as saying, “”When a woman comes for induced termination of pregnancy, she should be counseled about that risk. At least she will be able to make an informed choice.”

Newer modifications of the suction abortion procedure or other abortion methods “may be safer,” Shaw speculated, but he told the newspaper that “we could not find any data on which to base that assumption because they have not been studied.”

Brent Rooney of the Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition in Vancouver, Canada, told LifeNews.com, “From 1958 to 2009 there has never been a ‘study of studies’ (meta-analysis) or systematic review” of research into the link between abortion and premature birth.

According to LifeNews, a study Rooney conducted found 1,096 low-birth weight newborns in the United States in 2007 who developed cerebral palsy -– babies who were born to women who previously had abortions.

Rooney noted that “babies under 32 weeks’ gestation have 55 times the cerebral palsy risk as full-term (at least 37 weeks) newborns.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode and Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.

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