Study: Abortion May Affect Future Pregnancy

According to a new Canadian study, having an abortion could potentially put woman at risk for problematic pregnancies if they decide to have a child later on.

The Guardian reported totay that the study, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, found that woman who have had an abortion may be at a greater risk for complications.

"The study found that women who had an abortion in the first or second trimester had a 35% increased risk of a low birth weight baby and a 36% raised risk of a pre-term baby in later pregnancies."

However, the author of the study, Dr. Prakesh Shah, insisted that there may be other factors that could contribute to these findings, such as damage to the cervix or uterus during the procedure. (He noted that certain drugs are now used to "ripen" the cervix, thus lessening the risk of damage.)

Dr. Shah, however, seemed more worried about how some voices in the abortion debate might distort this information to further their anti-choice cause.

"I think it should not be used as a way of saying, this is bad and we should not be doing this kind of thing. There is an association which we should be aware of, and we should let mothers be aware. I don’t want unintended pregnancies to increase."

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  • adolmd

    One thing that we learn in med school, "association does not mean causation." For example, people with cigarette lighters have more lung cancer. But it is not the cigarette lighter that is the problem, it is the smoking.This study seems to be of that flavor.


    My understanding of the highest risk factor for pre-term baby and LBW is low socioeconomic status, poor access to healthcare — the same risk factors for someone who can’t get birth control and then needs an abortion… for this study to be valid, they should have "controlled for" socioeconomic status.


    This study admits "Several biomedical, social, environmental, lifestyle-related, genetic and other factors contribute to a preterm and/or LBW births and this need to be kept in mind in interpreting our results. We caution interpretation being causal as confounding effects of socioeconomic factors, which are important, were considered in very few studies only."