Health Risks of Abortion, Part 3 of 3 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Patricia Lee June, M.D.   

Fotolia 2162967 XS2Not only is the mother at long-term risk from induced abortion, so are her future children.

Rates of miscarriage increase after abortion

Studies involving miscarriage (spontaneous abortion prior to 20 weeks gestation) show mixed results, but a recent large study from China in women who had not yet given birth showed at least a 55% increase in first trimester miscarriage after first trimester induced abortion. Studies show a larger risk after multiple abortions. The rate of premature birth, especially of very early premature birth, is increased after induced abortion. Studies have shown an increased risk averaging 36% with one induced abortion rising to 93% with multiple induced abortions.

More pre-term births occur after previous induced abortion

A study of the cost involved with preterm deliveries at 24-31 weeks showed that induced abortion increased the early preterm delivery rate by 31.5%, with a yearly increase in initial neonatal hospital costs related to induced abortion of over $1.2 billion. The yearly human cost includes 23,000 excess early preterm births (under 32 weeks) and 1100 excess CP cases in very-low-birth-weight newborns (under 3.3 pounds). Complications of prematurity include chronic lung disease, death of part of the colon (sometimes requiring surgery with and without colostomy), bleeding in the brain, vision problems and even blindness, hearing loss from antibiotics, etc., cerebral palsy, mental retardation, ADHD and school failure.

Danger of placenta previa rises after abortion

Women who had a previous induced abortion had a 30% to 70% increase in placenta previa rates compared to women with no abortion history. In these cases, the placenta forms over the opening of the uterus and vaginal deliveries risk massive blood loss to both mother and baby. Complications of placenta previa include 5% emergent bleeding at 35 weeks gestation rising to 29% at 38 weeks. A Caesarian section (C/S) is necessary in cases of placenta previa, and is recommended at 36 weeks to avoid most of the risk of early labor. This results in near-term deliveries, with some babies needing short-term NICU care (and in much of the US, all children thereafter would be born by Caesarian section). When a C/S is done for emergent bleeding, up to 6% of cases require a hysterectomy.

More child abuse, substance abuse, depression

Although legal abortion was initially promoted as a way to decrease child abuse, studies have shown that women who have had induced abortions are significantly more likely to slap, kick/bite, hit and beat their children than those without past induced abortions. Since women who have had induced abortions have a higher rate of alcohol and drug abuse and depression, children born into these families are also harmed by these problems in their mothers. Studies have found that the brains of children who live with a depressed mother are different from children living with mentally healthy mothers.

Abortion affects not only the baby who is aborted, but also can have negative consequences on the health and survival of later children.

"Thus says the LORD: For three transgressions of the Ammonites, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead, that they might enlarge their border." —Amos 1:13


Dr. Patricia Lee June, M.D. is a member of First Presbyterian church of Moultrie, GA and a Pediatrician. Her article, "Emergency Contraception--Not the Best for Adolescents," May 2013, is posted on the website of the American College of Pediatricians (www.acpeds.org). Dr. June is a long-time member of the PPL Board of Directors.

 

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