Women who have abortions are more likely to have premature or low birth weight babies in later life,” the Daily Mail said. It reported on a large review that has found that women who have had a previous termination could be at risk of having a subsequent premature birth or a low birthweight baby.
This thorough and well-conducted review combined results from studies looking at terminations over the past 30 years. It found an increased risk of having a premature birth or low birthweight baby if a woman has had a prior termination.
This review has some limitations because of the variable quality and methods of the individual studies it used, and the findings could be explained by several factors including the possibility of changes in medical care and practice since the earlier studies. However, the findings are supported by a body of research and illustrate the importance in giving women all the information so that they can make an informed choice.
The Daily Mail also reported the researchers as being keen that the findings are not misinterpreted. It reported Professor Philip Steer, editor-in-chief of British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, as saying, “The most important message is not that this should be used in any way to prevent women having a termination of pregnancy. The effect has to be balanced against the serious effects of forcing women to continue with unwanted pregnancies.”