Abortion and Preterm Birth: Why Medical Journals Aren’t Giving Us The Real Picture
Dr. Calhoun’s paper reviews a large body of literature concerning the risk factors for preterm birth. He finds a disturbing trend among medical journals and some authors to undervalue or bury entirely the link between previous abortion and risk of preterm birth. The paper draws attention to the existence of 127 peer-reviewed studies that show an increased risk of preterm birth following an abortion. Dr. Calhoun closely analyzes several of these studies to demonstrate how some authors hide the abortion-preterm birth link and fail to report it in the main parts of the paper, leaving the reader to dig deep into the paper to find it. The paper also shows how important medical organizations fail to acknowledge the abortion-preterm birth link, resulting in inaccurate conclusions about the factors related to preterm birth. Finally, Dr. Calhoun offers policy recommendations for concerned actors in women and children’s health.
Dr. Calhoun’s paper evaluates the most important English-language scientific studies on preterm birth and abortion. His major contribution is to bring to our attention a large body of literature spanning five decades that contains the frequently hidden link between abortion and subsequent preterm birth but in which this link is frequently hidden. This inaccessibility of information results in erroneous conclusions and misinformation, particularly harmful form women and children.