NARAL’s North Carolina affiliate is up in arms about “a shocking new legislative attack on reproductive rights.” The source of their fury? A proposal (SB 132) to add to the health curriculum in schools. If the measure passes, sex ed classes will include information about the link between abortion and preterm birth, which NARAL North Carolina calls “propaganda” and “unsubstantiated lies.”
Here’s a little more information about the abortion-preterm birth link, from (sarcasm alert) the well-known anti-choice propagandists at the New York Times (end sarcasm alert):
Induced abortions may raise the risk for very preterm birth
in subsequent pregnancies, a new study reports.
Researchers reviewed the records of 300,858 first-time
mothers who had single babies in Finland from 1996 to 2008, comparing the data
with a registry of induced abortions from 1983 to 2008. The analysis appeared online Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction.
After controlling for smoking, a history of miscarriage,
socioeconomic level and other factors, the investigators found that the risk
for very preterm birth — that is, birth at 28 or fewer weeks of gestation —
increased with the number of previous abortions a woman had had: a 19 percent
increase after one abortion, 69 percent for two, and 278 percent for three.
They also found increased risks for preterm birth (less than
37 weeks of gestation) and for low birth weight, but only in women who had three
or more abortions.
The authors caution that unknown variables could have
influenced their findings, and that their observational study does not
establish cause and effect. Still, they believe that the finding could be
explained by infections that sometimes occur before or after surgery for
“The risk is low,” said the lead author, Reija Klemetti, a
researcher at the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, “and
abortion is a safe surgical procedure. But having more than two can have
consequences, and this information should be included in sexual education
That isn’t the only study substantiating the link, of course. But it is one of the better ones, since registry-based studies eliminate recall bias.
NARAL North Carolina says that we “should trust our children with the truth.” I couldn’t agree more. And that’s why pro-science North Carolinians should support SB 132.