23-April-2002 -- L |

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MAJOR STUDY ON ABORTION FINDS RISKS MUCH HIGHER THAN EXPECTED

TORONTO, (LSN.ca) - Abortion complications are seriously under reported, leaving women who undergo abortion largely unaware of the range of physical and psychological risks they face, according to a new study by a Canadian bioethics institute. The deVeber Institute, a nonprofit bioethics and social research group based in Toronto, has released its comprehensive review of the world medical literature on abortion in a new book entitled "Women's Health after Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence." The investigation is based on over 500 studies that have appeared in medical and other journals, chiefly during the past twenty years

Breast cancer, pelvic infection, infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, and subsequent premature births - with higher rates of children born with cerebral palsy - were found to be associated with abortion. Abortion complications were not limited to physical health. While abortion is often regarded as a cure for the depression and stress of a crisis pregnancy, the study found that women are more likely to commit suicide after abortion than after giving birth to a child.

"In the absence of this knowledge, how can a woman give her informed consent to an abortion?" asks Ian Gentles, history professor at York University in Toronto, and one of the authors of the study. Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Emory University professor of humanities and women's studies, calls the findings "compelling", and says the study "makes overwhelmingly clear [that] women who seek abortions in the United States and Canada are not even told of the risks they are running."

The current high level of 114,000 reported abortions in Canada and 1.4 million in the U.S. underscore the magnitude of this suppressed public health issue. The study calls for a more accountable system of risk assessment where research data accurately reflect the true risks of abortion to their future health and fertility.

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