Skip to comments.Study finds abortion linked to shortened lifespan of mother
Posted on 09/16/2012 10:07:31 AM PDT by wagglebee
September 14, 2012 (Mercatornet.com) - In a study published last week in the European Journal of Public Health, Priscilla Coleman and colleagues report that mothers who have experienced natural pregnancy loss or induced abortion are more likely to die over a 25-year period than those who have experienced only giving birth. Dr Coleman, a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, responds here to MercatorNets questions about the study.
What was your aim in this study?
The study was undertaken to provide reliable data pertaining to the relative risk of death associated with distinct reproductive history patterns over many years. Acquiring and disseminating accurate data pertaining to maternal mortality have been longstanding global concerns. Inconsistent definitions regarding what constitutes a maternal death and incomplete data confined to very brief time periods have left society largely in the dark regarding true mortality risks associated with pregnancy generally and with particular outcomes, both immediately after pregnancy resolution and across the years that follow.
Regarding the data problem, the World Health Organization has noted: Maternal deaths are hard to identify because this requires information about deaths among women of reproductive age, pregnancy status at or near the time of death, and the medical cause of death. All three components can be difficult to measure accurately.
Most existing statistics rely upon death certificates to estimate maternal mortality and as noted by Gissler and colleagues in 2004, without data linkage to complete pregnancy and abortion records, 73% of all pregnancy associated deaths could not be identified from death certificates alone. Large population-based record-linkage studies, containing complete reproductive history data and data related to deaths, provide a unique opportunity to bypass many of the limitations of the currently available maternal mortality data in most countries. Our study was this type of study.
In a nutshell, what did it show about pregnancy loss compared with giving birth?
Pregnancy loss, whether due to induced abortion or natural loss (miscarriage or stillbirth), was associated with a higher probability of dying over the 25 year study period when compared to giving birth. However, the results related to natural loss should be interpreted cautiously, because only the most serious cases requiring hospitalization are captured in the data.
Are the results robust compared with other studies on this subject?
The results are comparable to other record-based studies. In a record-based study by Reardon and colleagues, U.S. women who aborted, when compared to women who delivered, were 62% more likely to die over an 8 year period from any cause after adjustments were made for age. Further, consistent findings were reported in large Finnish population-based studies by Gissler and colleagues published in 1997 and in 2004.
In the first study, post-pregnancy death rates within 1 year were reported to be nearly 4 times greater among women who had an induced abortion (100.5 per 100,000) compared to women who carried to term (26.7 per 100,000). Spontaneous abortion had a pregnancy associated mortality rate of 47.8 per 100,000. In the later study, Gissler and colleagues again found that mortality was significantly lower after a birth (28.2 per 100,000) than after a spontaneous abortion (51.9 per 100,000) and following an induced abortion (83.1 per 100,000).
Our results then are consistent with prior work and extend what is known by examining combinations of different reproductive outcomes and by examining the associations between repeated experiences of the same outcome in association with mortality risk.
What, specifically, did your study show about the risk or benefit of a) induced abortion, b) miscarriages and stillbirths, c) births only?
With controls for the number of pregnancies, year of birth, and age at last pregnancy, when compared to only giving birth, having only induced abortion(s) was associated with a 66% increased risk of dying. A reproductive history entailing only natural losses (compared to birth) was associated with a 181% increased risk of dying across the study period.
Did it make any difference how often a woman experienced abortion, miscarriage etc, or the birth of child?or what combination of these different outcomes she experienced?
Yes, both things made a difference. Women who had experienced both induced abortion and natural loss were, on average, more than three times (327%) more likely to die over the 25-year period. When induced abortion and birth were combined, the risk of dying was increased by 56%. Natural loss in conjunction with birth was associated with a 29% increased mortality risk. When all reproductive outcomes were present in womens lives, when compared to only birth(s), a 94% increased risk of death was observed. Risk of death was over 6 times greater among women who had never been pregnant compared to those in the birth(s) only group.
Multiple abortions, compared to no experience of abortion, and after applying controls, increased the risk of mortality as follows: one abortion, 45%; two abortions, 114%; three abortions, 191%. Similarly, increased risks of death were equal to 44%, 86%, and 150% for one, two, and three natural losses respectively compared to no natural losses.
By contrast, giving birth to more than one child significantly decreased mortality risks. Specifically, two births were associated with an 83% lower risk of death compared to no births, three or more births corresponded to a 44% decreased risk over no births.
Early this year a US study reported that women were about 14 times more likely to die during or after giving birth to a live baby than to die from complications of an abortionand it received a lot of attention. But your study suggests that birth is protective of the life of mothers compared to abortion. How do you explain the difference?
In arriving at their conclusion that abortion is many times safer than childbirth, Raymond and Grimes relied on data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to secure numbers of deaths related to childbirth and induced abortion. The authors acknowledged underreporting, but they made no attempt to address the factors associated with this shortcoming, nor did they discuss the magnitude of the problem: Weaknesses include the likely under-reporting of deaths, possibly differential by pregnancy outcome (abortion or childbirth.)
Raymond and Grimes also failed to address abortion-related deaths beyond the first trimester, which constitute 12-13% of all abortions performed in the US. Using national U.S. data spanning the years from 1988 to 1997, Bartlett and colleagues reported the relative risk of mortality was 14.7 per 100,000 at 1315 weeks of gestation, 29.5 at 16-20 weeks, and 76.6 at or after 21 weeks.
Although your study does not establish causality, do you have any theories about how pregnancy loss would shorten womens livesother than through immediate complications of the abortion or miscarriage?
As a psychologist without medical training, any hypotheses that I have are largely restricted to mediational processes involving mental health variables. There is significant evidence that an abortion experience increases a womans risk for experiencing mental health problems and when women are anxious, depressed, or abusing substances, they are more prone to experiencing accidents, negative partner relationships, and suicide, and their overall physical health may decline rendering them more susceptible to chronic and acute physical ailments.
One result in your study seems surprisingthe greatly elevated risks of death among women who had not experienced any pregnancies. What do you make of that?
Without inclusion of additional demographic data, health history, and cause of death information, I think it would be premature to speculate too much. There is a great deal of medical research demonstrating physical and psychological benefits of full-term pregnancy, so women who have not experienced a pregnancy will not benefit from them. Moreover, many women in our Danish study may have died before they had opportunity to experience a pregnancy.
What further research would you like to door see doneon this subject?
My primary research interests relate to mental health correlates of reproductive outcomes; therefore in the future, I would like to more closely examine specific psychological pathways leading from distinct reproductive outcomes to particular causes of death using record-based data.
More specifically, I would really like to see if women who have experienced induced abortion are more likely to die from causes that may be logically associated with adverse mental health outcomes such as suicide, deaths due to engagement in risk-taking behaviors, and/ or substance abuse.
In this regard, there are a few existing record-based studies that have addressed associations between particular reproductive outcomes and chance of death due to suicide. For example, in a population-based study, Appleby (1991) reported in the British Medical Journal that pregnant women are 1/20th as likely to commit suicide when compared to non-pregnant women of childbearing age. Appleby concluded that Motherhood seems to protect against suicide.
Further, Gissler and colleagues (2005) reported the annual suicide rate for women of reproductive age to be 11.3 per 100,000; whereas the rate was only 5.9 per 100,000 in association with birth (and was a startling 34.7 per 100,000 following abortion). Several other studies conducted in various countries have revealed low rates of suicide in the year following birth when compared to non-postpartum samples.
When your study showing a link between abortion and mental health problems was published a year ago in the British Journal of Psychiatry you were severely criticized by peers. Have you been attacked for these latest findings that show abortion in an unfavourable light?
Not that I am aware of. But I honestly dont pay too much attention to what is said about me, beyond defending the rigor of the studies and the quality of the journals so that the results will be taken seriously and used to inform women and health care professionals. The satisfaction that comes from helping women to be heard far outweighs any slanderous comments about me that are floating around.
Priscilla K. Coleman is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Dr Coleman has nearly 50 peer-reviewed journal articles published, including 33 on abortion and mental health. In recognition of her strong publication record, she has been called to serve as an expert in several state and civil court cases, has spoken at the UN, and in 2007 she testified before U.S. Congress. Dr. Coleman is currently on the editorial boards for five international psychology and medical journals.
Study citation: Coleman, P. K., & Reardon, D. C. (September, 2012) Reproductive History Patterns and Long-Term Mortality Rates: A Danish, Population Based Record Linkage Study. European Journal of Public Health.
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet. This article reprinted under a Creative Commons License.
Yes, I think you’re right, sadly.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
The abortion-addicted “mothers” should be put on trial and tried for premeditated murder. The shortened life span can, however, be construed as cosmic justice for their crimes.
I think the abortions show a mother who is profoundly ignorant to the whole “Cause:Effect” paradigmns that fill our lives. If she is this “stupid” with her birth control, she is likely that “stupid” with other very basic decisions.
Stupidity is very expensive - and in this case, Charles Darwin is removing the stupid from the collective, despite the best intents that Libtards have employed. Historically the intelligent and most fit survived, but Libtards have implimented welfare to punish the intelligent and hard working; and reward the stupid and lazy.
It’s also linked to increased psychological mental disorders, as well. =.=
For those of us who have had a miscarriage/miscarriages this is not good news.
A reasonable question for a researcher to try and answer is this:
Is the person who has the abortion more likely to abort because she has emotional problems even before becoming pregnant, and sees an abortion as a way to rid herself of situation that will cause her to become even more emotionally distraught? Or does she develop emotional problems as a result of the abortion?
It would seem that an emotionally stable woman who becomes pregnant would be less likely to see abortion as a solution to her situation.
It did say cases that required hospitalization for the natural causes portion of the study. However, I would like to see the differences in the lifespan for women who have had a miscarriage that have never been on the pill vs women who have had a miscarriage with a history of using the pill. I’m convinced the pill causes many many problems for women.
My heart goes out to my fellow women who have suffered a miscarriage.
Not to mention a dramatically shortened lifespan for the baby.
Unfortunately, not as short as the child’s life.
I haven’t read the article yet, and I will but let me say this, miscarriage is natural. The hormones fade in natural succession, whereas in an elective abortion hormones are suddenly forced into a chaotic sstate. Breast cancer is very high among these women many of whom are on the pill at one time or another, and the pill is in the same class of carcinogens as cigarrettes - they don’t tellyou that, but it is true.
Among elective AB mothers, there is tremendous guilt and depression and in addition there is a loss of a marital type relationship .
Miscarriage (spontaneous abotion) is very common to almost normal, though a loss and disappointment. The guilt and regret are both manageable especially compared with abortion, for which there is no treatment within the medical psychoanalytical community. It is buried, which in itself is disease-causing.
Thank you so much for your post.
OK, I just read it.
From the text:
“However, the results related to natural loss should be interpreted cautiously, because only the most serious cases requiring hospitalization are captured in the data.”
Here’s what you have to look for, in a study like this, what their goal is is to show a normalcy in induced abortions for cultural acceptance. Your common sense will prevail, however.
If miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) were so risky, it would have been common knowledge by now, as it is extremely common, and throughout history.
They’re including, in their study, incidences of mothers having miscarriage with underlying diseases which bring them to hospitalization. Miscarriage does NOT require hospitalizationOB GYNs will bring the mother in and capture the case surgically for revenue, but a 1st term miscarriage the most common by far can be managed at home with a bit of herbs and a shot or so of whiskey and careful observation.
These are not included in this bogus study.
There is nothing normal about an induced abortion, NOTHING, whereas spontaneous abortion is common, if not normal, twisting it is the goal of these people.
I know someone who had three miscarriages and was never hospitalized, refused surgical intervention, and has a very healthy child who was delivered normally in between all of the miscarriages, and this is the case for every family I knew growing up. Everyone had a tale of a mother having a miscarriage, some of whom are still alive in their 70s, 80s and 90s.
The subheadline should read:
“. . . mothers who have experienced natural pregnancy loss (in the most serious cases requiring hospitalization)or induced abortion are more likely to die over . . .”
They want people to be discouraged and to say what the heck I may as well give up and abotion, natural or induced, they’re the same . . .
No. They are NOT. Read this stuff with caution and carefully, knowing their aim.
t forget the AMA is a pro abortion organization.
Go to Johnette Bencovics website, Women of Grace and obtain the real sraritsics of Birth Control, abortion etc. there is an awful lot of research being withheld by the FDA, CDC, Media and others, including the Pharmaceutical, medical and academic communities. They pretend we can’t read nor think. But we can.
Pregnancy is the normal state of the uterus, these people call preventing that “health”.
Don’t trust them, and do READ what is stated in any article. They won’t lie and risk their credibility, and they will sneak the truth in where they think you’re not reading.
You are correct. Johnette Bencovic is a media maven who allows these studies to be discussed by experts.
Women of Grace.
In fact, the Pill is a carcinogen in the same class as cigarrettes.
Common sense, guys and gals, shows us the path to the truth.
You are welcome.
their design is to discourage.
They won’t let go of abortion easily. Eventually they will have to do so and it’s going to be a bumpy ride for all.
I appreciate your patience with my lack of editing. Am in speed mode with much to do today, no excuse.
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