A recent study out of Denmark appears to show a higher incidence of premature death among women who have had an abortion than for women who give birth. The study tracked a group of Danish women over a 25-year period, finding that those who had undergone a single abortion had a 45-percent higher mortality rate over that time period than those who had carried babies to full term. The death rate among women rose dramatically for subsequent abortions, with women who had two abortions having a 114-percent greater likelihood of mortality during the study period, and women with three or more abortions facing a 192-percent chance of premature death.
David Reardon, a co-author of the study, said in a statement that the increased mortality rate among women who had subsequent abortions appears to confirm a causal relationship between the procedure and death among women. “We knew from our previous studies of low-income women in California,” he explained, “that women who have multiple pregnancy outcomes, such as having a history of both abortion and miscarriage, have significantly different mortality rates.”
The Christian Post, which reported on the study, noted that the Danish research also showed “an increase in the death rates of women who had experienced miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies or other natural losses. Women who did not have a history of loss during pregnancy were the least likely to die during the 25 years that were examined, while women who had never conceived had the highest mortality rate.”
This is not the first study showing that abortion can be deadly for women. In November 2011 LifeNews.com reported on a study showing that women who have had a single abortion may face a nearly three-fold increase in risk of breast cancer. The study, led by Dr. Lilit Khachatryan of the American University of Armenia, and which included researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania, also found that delaying a first full-term pregnancy significantly raised the risk of breast cancer in women, while giving birth resulted in an over 60-percent reduced risk.
“Khachatryan’s team reported a statistically significant 13 percent increased breast cancer risk for every one year delay of a first full term pregnancy (FFTP),” reported LifeNews, “with delayed FFTPs until ages 21-30 or after age 30 resulting in 2.21-fold and 4.95-fold increased risks respectively.” Karen Malec of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer told LifeNews that the findings were not a surprise, because “54 of 67 epidemiological studies since 1957 report an abortion-breast cancer link....”
In June 2010 the UK's Daily Mail reported on a study from the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka that also showed a three-fold increase in risk of breast cancer among abortive women. The researchers discovered the apparent link between abortion and breast cancer “while carrying out research into how breastfeeding can protect women from developing the killer disease,” reported the Daily Mail. “While concluding that breastfeeding offered significant protection from cancer, they also noted that the highest reported risk factor in developing the disease was abortion.”
The British paper noted that the Sri Lankan research represented the “fourth epidemiological study to report such a link in the past 14 months, with research in China, Turkey, and the U.S. showing similar conclusions.”
Predictably, mainstream cancer researchers cast doubt on the study, claiming that their own research has found no link between abortion and breast cancer. But Professor Jack Scarisbrick, an eminent British historian and founder of the the pro-life UK crisis pregnancy organization LIFE, insisted that the Sri Lankan study added to the “devastating” proof of the deadly link. “This study is further evidence that has been gathering from all around the world that abortion is a major risk factor for breast cancer,” he said. “When will the [medical] establishment face up to this fact and pull its head out of the sand? It is betraying women by failing to warn that what they are doing to their bodies — the quick fix of abortion — can do grave harm.”
Meanwhile, a recent study of a different sort offered evidence that having children is a life-saver for both men and women. The study out of Denmark tracked 21,276 Danish couples who tried to have children via in vitro fertilization treatments between 1994 and 2005. During the study period 15,210 children were born to the couples, 1,564 were adopted, and a total of 96 women and 200 men died over the time period.
From the data, the researchers calculated that women who gave birth were four times more likely to be alive at the end of the study period compared with women who remained childless. While the benefit to men appeared to be less significant, those who fathered children still had a two-times greater likelihood of being alive at the end of the study period than those who had not.
Similarly, those parents who could not get pregnant, but went on to adopt children, appeared to be healthier: Adoptive mothers were 33 percent less likely to die, and fathers 45 percent less likely to die, compared to their counterparts who had no children. The researchers found that the childless individuals were more likely to die from circulatory disease, cancers, and accidents than those who had children.
Lead researcher Esben Agerbo of Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark, told WebMD that he could only guess as to why parents with children tend to live longer. “My best guess is health behaviors,” he said. “When people have kids, they tend to live healthier.”
Regardless of the reason, the researchers concluded: “Mindful that association is not causation, our results suggest that the mortality rates are higher in the childless.”