HOMEPAGE: www.danieljvance.com



By Daniel J. Vance

  Women having had an induced abortion should take note: research now shows you ultimately are much more likely to give birth to a child with cerebral palsy.

  The Toronto-based deVeber Institute is the only Canadian organization continuously studying the long-term effects of induced abortion on women. Ian Gentles, its research director, explains the link between induced abortion and cerebral palsy: "[Researchers] have known two things for more than a decade. We've known that women having an induced abortion have at least a 30 percent higher rate of prematurity in subsequent pregnancies. The more abortions they have, the greater the rate of premature birth. We've also known that premature babies have a much higher chance of being born with cerebral palsy."

  No one publicly had linked the two, he says, until deVeber Institute in its 2002 book, "Women's Health After Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence."

  Gentles estimates "conservatively" that 25 thousand Americans the last 30 years have acquired cerebral palsy due to low birth weight brought about because of mothers having had induced abortions. Cerebral palsy is caused usually during fetal development by damage to the brain that short-circuits the brain's ability to control body movement and posture. It is not a disease and cannot be "caught."

  An established link exists between induced abortion and premature birth. In the "Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons," Rooney and Calhoun in 2003 noted that 49 studies then had shown a "statistically significant" increase in premature births in women with prior induced abortions. The article also stated as fact that cerebral palsy risk in extremely premature babies is about 38 times higher than in the overall newborn population.

  Gentles' book in part moved the State of Texas recently to update its "Woman's Right to Know" booklet, which is required reading for women considering abortion. The revised version states, "Some large studies have reported a doubling of the risk of premature birth in later pregnancy if a woman has had two induced abortions. The same studies report an 800 percent increase in the risk of extremely early premature births (less than 28 weeks) for a woman who has experienced four or more induced abortions. Very premature babies, who have the highest risk of death, also have the highest risk for lasting disabilities, such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, lung and gastrointestinal problems, and vision and hearing loss."

  For more, see www.danieljvance.com, www.deveber.org, or www.ucp.org