Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is 36% A "Small" Risk?

Barb Malek's new blog (Erase the Need) is designed to 1) communicate essential pro-life truths to young persons who are not usually oriented to Christian or conservative sources of information and 2) to introduce them to the variety of services provided by a pro-life CPC, in this case, the AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling.

Even though she's just starting out as a blogger, she has years of experience both in writing and in CPC ministry. Therefore, I think you'll find Erase the Need a very helpful resource. It's certainly one to pass around to youngsters, to youth pastors and the like. But Barb also provides information you can use as well as providing insight on how to best approach these issues with others.

Case in point? Check out the excerpt below from Barb's latest column:

...No matter where you stand on the issue of abortion, I think everyone can agree (at least I would hope so!) that women should have access to all the information they can, either positive or negative. However, in my opinion, when negative statistics about abortion are brought to light they tend to be downplayed or ignored altogether. One example of this is an article which just came out in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics.

In this article, Dr. Jay D. Iams, Professor and Vice Chair of the Ohio State University Department of OB/GYN, has drawn a clear link between abortion and the rate of pre-term births. The exact quote is: “Contrary to popular belief, population based studies have found that elective pregnancy terminations in the first and second trimesters are associated with a very small but apparently real increase in the risk of subsequent spontaneous preterm birth.” (You can find this article by clicking on the link to the American Journal of Obstetrics above.) In other words, having a first or second trimester abortion can increase the risk of having early deliveries for any future babies.

Not surprisingly, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists supported this article, but added some documentation to state that it did not go far enough. They point out (in the article you can find by clicking on their link) that there are currently over a hundred studies being performed which show a statistically significant link between induced abortions and early deliveries. In fact, there are no studies that prove that no link exists.

When Dr. Iams says it is a “small but significant” link, it really depends on what you think “small” means. In fact, one of the sources that he references shows a 36% increase, which I think sounds pretty big. For instance, if I had a 36% chance of having my plane crash or not surviving surgery, I would really rethink both. And, the risk increases the more abortions that a woman has...