Induced Abortion and Risk of Later Premature Births

Brent Rooney
and Byron C. Calhoun, M.D.
Reproduced with Permission


At least 49 studies have demonstrated a statistically significant increase in premature births (PB) or low birth weight (LBW) risk in women with prior induced abortions (IAs). This paper will focus on the risk of early premature births (EPBs) (< 32 weeks gestation) and extremely early premature births (XPBs) (< 28 weeks gestation). Large studies have reported a doubling of EPB risk from two prior IAs. Women who had four or more IAs experienced, on average, nine times the risk of XPB, an increase of 800 percent.

These results suggest that women contemplating IA should be informed of this potential risk to subsequent pregnancies, and that physicians should be aware of the potential liability and possible need for intensified prenatal care.

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