Women who have had an abortion in the past are more likely to give birth to a premature baby, a major British study has revealed.
The study, which looked at more than a million pregnancies, found that having one abortion led to a 34 per cent increased risk of having a premature birth compared to those pregnant for the first time.
And the risk is even higher for women who have had more than two abortions, the study said.
Josephine Quintavalle of the ProLife Alliance said: “This is the most compelling evidence to date of the health impact of abortion on future pregnancies.”
She added that whatever position people took on abortion, it is “more than obvious” that patients should be alerted to the “very real and incremental risks of future miscarriage”.
The findings, which are currently only preliminary, came from an University of Aberdeen study and were presented to a conference in Sweden earlier this week.
Peter Saunders, of Christian Medical Fellowship, commented: “We will of course have to wait to see the full study once it is formally published but this is a further huge reason why women seeking abortion must have access to fully informed consent from a neutral party which does not downplay the facts.
“The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), who were rapped on the knuckles earlier this year by the Health Secretary for trying to sneak through their controversial guidance on abortion without a proper consultation, have been heavily criticised in the past for underplaying the physical and psychological consequences of abortion for women.”
Dr Saunders added: “Well it will be far harder for the abortion industry and RCOG to play down abortion complications now.”
The research was led by Sohinee Bhattacharya, from the University of Aberdeen. She commented that women considering abortion should be told about the risks.
She warned however that the vast majority can still expect a normal healthy pregnancy.
“I think that it’s something that should be brought to the notice of women, but the absolute risk isn’t large,” she said.
Earlier this month it emerged that commercial abortion providers could soon be able to advertise their services on television and radio if controversial draft rules are approved.