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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-17-07

Study: Abortion Pills Have No Effect On Later Pregnancies

Recent findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that medical abortions, like surgical abortions, do not increase risks in future pregnancies. "The short-term safety of medical abortion has been well established," Dr. Jun Zhang of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, who worked on the study, told Reuters.

Unlike surgical abortions, which completely remove the embryo or fetus and surrounding tissue, medical abortions, induced by pills such as mifepristone, may leave behind some embryonic material. Dr. Matthew Reeves, a reproductive expert at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told the Associated Press that this new research "squashes any concerns" that such material could interfere with future pregnancies.

The study, which tracked 30,349 Danish women who had medical abortions between 1999 and 2004, found that 84.8 percent of the women's subsequent pregnancies resulted in live births. "We found no evidence that a previous medical abortion, as compared with a previous surgical abortion, increases risk of spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy, preterm birth or low birth weight," the authors concluded.

Media Resources: Reuters 8/15/07; Associated Press 8/15/07; New England Journal of Medicine 8/16/07


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