Is Cerebral Palsy ever a 'Choice'? 
   by Brent Rooney   (Jan. 2004)

[An updated version of an article first published in
 Post-Abortion Review (Oct.-Dec. 2000)]

   by Brent Rooney

     "When Emily was ten months old, her doctor told us he thought
     we should have Emily evaluated for "possible mild cerebral palsy."
     I suddenly found myself at the beginning of a whole new emotional
     roller-coaster ride. My jaw dropped, my face felt immediately on
     fire, my eyes filled with tears, and my body began to shake all
     over. I clung tightly to my precious girl as I heard his words...."

     (Sandra, Mother of 30-weeker Emily, Your premature baby and child,
     Amy Tracy et al., 1999, pp. 115-116).[7]

   What is cerebral palsy?

   It is a brain injury resulting in  improper  balance, posture and
   movement.  It is estimated that 2-3 newborn per thousand will have
   CP in North America.  Since there are roughly 4 million births per
   year in the United States, that means between 8,000 and 12,000
   will have cerebral palsy.

   Can the risk of a newborn having CP be reduced?

   There are many unknowns about the risks for CP and because of yearly
   law suits against obstetricians, anyone identifying a new CP risk
   will be strongly challenged. In 1991 medical researchers did a
   review of previous studies and reported that very low birth weight
   (VLBW: under 3 pounds 5 ounces) newborns had a whopping 38 times the
   risk of CP as normal weight newborns.[4] Thus, it is hardly surprising
   that a CP expert such as Dr. Elliot Gersh, developmental pediatrician
   and Medical Director of Mt. Washington Pediatrics Hospital, lists
   preterm birth as a risk factor for cerebral palsy. (Children with
   Cerebral Palsy , p. 14)[2] The more preterm a birth, the higher the
   risk of a VLBW newborn. It is thus reasonable to believe that any
   action taken by a woman to reduce her prematurity risk will reduce her
   newborn's CP risk.

   Can Elective Surgery boost preterm & CP risk?

   Professor Barbara Luke, University of Michigan, is a highly regarded
   author in the field of obstetrics and her 1995 book, Every Pregnant
   Woman's Guide to Preventing Premature Birth, is a classic in its
   field.[6] Luke wrote, "If you have had one or more induced abortions,
   your risk of prematurity with this pregnancy increases about 30
   percent. If they were done during the second trimester, after 14
   weeks, your subsequent risk of prematurity is greater than if they had
   been done during the first trimester, before 14 weeks."[6, p. 32] How
   many studies support Luke's claim that a previous induced abortion
   elevates subsequent risk of a premature or Low Birth Weight birth?
   At least fifty (50) studies including very prestigious medical
   journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet,
   American Journal of Epidemiology, and American Journal of Public
   Health.[ ]  All fifty (50)
   of these studies are at least 95 percent confident of increased
   prematurity or LBW risk.  The best review article to demonstrate
   the increased pre-term risk of prior induced abortions is at URL:

   Is 30 percent an underestimate of prematurity risk?

   Four years after Luke's 1995 "EPWG" book, the largest ever study (with
   over 61,000 Danish women) had results published by the very respected
   medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology (December, 1999). Key

    1. Doubled risk of a VERY preterm (before 34 weeks' gestation) birth
       for women with previous induced abortions
    2. Almost doubled risk of a preterm birth for women with previous
       induced abortions
    3. 1155% (!!!) boosted prematurity risk for women with two (2)
       previous "evacuation" type abortions. (In "evacuations" the unborn
       is cut up and removed from the mom)

   Many times medical researchers will report risk increases but note
   that they are not at least 95% confident of boosted risk. The medical
   researchers for this Danish study were at least 95% confident of the
   above three findings.[12]

   Is Cerebral Palsy ever a "Choice"?

   Answer: Yes. However, it is an uninformed choice, since no abortion
   clinic lists elevated risk of subsequent preterm birth. How can these
   clinics defend not listing a risk with substantial support? By
   borrowing an argument from "Big Tobacco". By 1954 there were some
   medical research reports showing that cigarette smoking raised lung
   cancer risk. On January 4, 1954 the Tobacco Industry Research
   Committee placed a full-page ad in major newspapers entitled "A Frank
   Statement to Cigarette Smokers." Their message: the link between
   smoking and lung cancer was "not regarded as conclusive." Was this
   statement true? Yes, but it implied that no warning of possible lung
   cancer risk be given until "all" the evidence was in and was
   conclusive. Smoking cigarettes is not curative for any disease nor is
   it necessary, so even in 1954 cigarette packs should have carried
   warnings about possible lung cancer risk. Just as abortion clinics
   demand conclusive proof for higher breast cancer risk before issuing
   warnings on consent forms, they will demand conclusive proof of pre-
   maturity risk. Shades of spokesman "Joe Camel". But surely, medical
   scientists would not take the same 'line'? Yes, many will. When asked
   if there is credible proof of preterm birth risk, they'll give answers
   that will 'run' something like, 'confouders [other risks not taken
   into account] were not controlled for and thus the evidence is not
   convincing'. Note that such answers are not responsive since
   'convincing' is a higher standard than 'credible'. For an elective
   (!!!) medical treatment only 'credible' is needed for warnings to be

   Is it biologically plausible that abortions can increase risk of a
   subsequent preterm birth?

   Highly regarded obstetric expert, Barbara Luke (PhD), has identified
   one mechanism that explains abortion causing prematurity risk. "The
   procedures for first-trimester abortion involve dilating the cervix
   slightly and suction- ing the contents of the uterus (see Figure 3).
   The procedures for second-trimester abortion are more involved,
   including dilating the cervix wider and for longer periods, and
   scraping the inside of the uterus. Women who had had several
   second-trimester abortions may have a higher incidence of incompetent
   cervix, a premature spontaneous dilation of the cervix, because the
   cervix has been artificially dilated several times before this
   pregnancy."[6;pp. 32-33] In a 'recent' (1998) book pediatrician Dr.
   Elliot Gersh included the following risk factor for cerebral palsy:

     "Incompetent cervix (premature dilation) leading to premature

   Incompetent cervix is a known risk of induced abortion surgery.[6]

   A second biological risk that helps to explain higher prematurity risk?
        Yes, infection risk. "Our findings indicate that an abortion in a
   woman's first pregnancy does not have  the same  protective effect of
   lowering  the  risk  for  intrapartum  infection in the following
   pregnancy as does a livebirth." So wrote  researchers (1996)
   from the University of Washington in the respected
   medical journal Epidemiology.[10] Infection is a leading cause of
   death from induced abortion (if one ignores breast cancer and suicide
   from abortion ). Infection is often mentioned as a risk factor for
   premature birth. In 1992 Dr. Janet Daling and colleagues reported that
   if the previous pregnancy ended in induced abortion, the risk of
   intraamniotic infection increased by 140% (95% CI=1.7-3.4).[11] "One
   possible mechanism is that cervical instrumentation can facilitate the
   passage of organisms into the upper part of the uterus, increasing the
   probability of inapparent infection and subsequent preterm birth",
   wrote Judith Lumley in 1998.21

   How many U.S. cases of "abortion-cerebral-palsy" yearly?

   If 20 percent of U.S. women giving birth yearly had a previous induced
   abortion, that represents 800,000 women. The 1999 Danish study
   reported that a previous induced abortion doubles the risk of a very
   preterm risk. It is reasonable to assume that the risk of very low
   birth weight is also doubled. The 800,000 women will give birth to
   about 19,360 Very Low Birth Weight newborn; half (9,680) due to a
   previous induced abortion. The odds of a VLBW newborn having cerebral
   palsy is about 9.34% (based on a study 1991 by GJ Escobar, et al).[4]
   This yields 904 VLBW newborn with cerebral palsy due to a mom's
   previous induced abortion.

   A similar calculation for moderately low birth weight (between 3
   pounds 5 ounces and 5 pounds 8 ounces) births to women with prior
   induced abortions yields an additional 185 newborn with CP to moms
   with prior induced abortions. Grand total: 1089 U.S. cerebral palsy
   yearly to moms with previous induced abortions. This is an estimate.
   It is over 2.5 times the number of victims (412) in the Tuskegee
   experiment and it happens every year.

   A medical malpractice lawyer's dream?

   Every year American parents of infants with cerebral palsy sue
   obstetricians, believing that errors of commission or omission
   contributed to their child's malady; it is believed by at least some
   medical researchers that some cases of CP are caused by problems
   occurring during delivery. This article does not dispute this very
   real possibility. What is virtually unknown (as of late 2000) by
   malpractice lawyers and parents of CP children is that a previous
   obstetrician (many abortionists are obstetricians) may have boosted
   their child's CP risk by performing an induced abortion in the past.
   Remember that preterm risk for later births is not listed on consent
   forms nor is this risk verbally communicated to young women
   considering surgical abortions. Successful CP suits can result in
   damage awards exceeding one million dollars. In addition to suing the
   obstetrician who delivered their newborn, the parents can consider
   adding the name of the abortion obstetrician(s) to those sued. One
   thing that medical malpractice lawyers love to see is an UNCONSENTED
   risk. Also, induced abortions are legally considered to be elective
   procedures and thus, serious risks for which less than conclusive
   evidence evidence exists, must be disclosed to the potential patient.
   Bottom line: elective induced abortion is a credible risk factor for
   cerebral palsy but it has never been disclosed to women. The vast
   majority of U.S. adults believe in informed medical consent and that
   right is being denied at abortion clinics. Some jury members may be
   outraged by this fraud of not disclosing risks to young women of
   prematurity and cerebral palsy. Result of nondisclosure: newborns put
   at elevated risk for CEREBRAL PALSY. No wonder, some groups talk about
   "Choice" but not about INFORMED Choice.

   Disparate CP impact on Black American women?

   According to abortion apologist Dr. David A. Grimes black American
   women have 35.2% of all induced abortions in the U.S. although they
   comprise only about 12% of the U.S. female population. It has been a
   "mystery" to the vast bulk of medical researchers why black American
   women have about three times the risk of very low birth weight
   newborns compared to Caucasian women. Certainly, not all of this
   disparate impact on black women can be blamed on the tripled rate of
   induced abortions, but to assign no impact, requires willing blindness
   . In 1987 it was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine
   (Ellice Lieberman et al.) that black women with two (2) previous
   induced abortions had a 91% higher relative risk of a subsequent
   preterm birth (than black women with no induced abortions). [16] Dr.
   Lieberman is currently associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology,
   and reproductive biology at Harvard University's School of Public
   Health. This study noted, "black infants remain twice as likely as
   white infants to die during the first year of life."[16] Very Low
   Weight newborns have over 90 times the mortality risk in their first
   year of life compared to normal weight newborns.[5] In a study of
   Atlanta, GA. youngsters (1985 through 1987) is was reported that
   "Ten-year-old black children had higher preva- lence of CP than did
   10-year-old white children" ; it was 30 percent higher and the
   researchers were 95% confident of increased CP risk for black
   10-year-olds compared to white 10-year-olds.[ 9; Journal of
   Pediatrics ] This disparate rate of Very Low Birth Weight babies for
   black American women has ominous implications for cerebral palsy rates
   among black infants. Which black leader will start a campaign to lower
   the rate of black cerebral palsy by informing black women of the
   health risks of elective abortion? Colin Powell?


   When did medical science first know about abortion & prematurity risk?

   In 1967 Dr. Malcolm Potts wrote about "Legal Abortion in Eastern
   Europe" in the journal The Eugenics Review, a journal dedicated to
   spreading EUGENIC principles to the countries of the world. Page 235
   of that article reveals: "there seems little doubt that there is a
   true relationship between the high incidence of therapeutic abortion
   and prematurity. The interruption of pregnancy in the young (under
   seventeen) is more dangerous than in other cases."

   Dr. Malcolm Potts has always been a stout defender of induced
   abortion. Thus, his 1967 concession of prematurity risk, means that
   the abortion-prematurity risk can not be portrayed as a scare tactic
   manufactured by pro-life activists. In fact, pro-lifers can well ask
   why Dr. Potts would write for a pro-eugenics journal (The Eugenics
   Review). Eugenics was a policy of Nazi Germany. [Malcolm Potts. Legal
   Abortion in Eastern Europe, The Eugenics Review, 1967;59: 232-250]


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      DD: 618.92836 C53G1, ISBN: 0933149824
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  25. Koller O, Eikhom SN. Late Sequelae of Induced Abortion in
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      with preterm (<37+0 weeks) and early preterm (<32+0 weeks):
      univariate and multi- variate analysis of 106 345 singleton births
      from 1994 statewide perinatal survey of Bavaira. European J
      Obstetrics & Gynecology Reproductive Biology 1998;80:183-189
  29. This study ('Haas') came close to 'significance' but 'trend' (i.e.
      2 or more induced abortions had higher risk for subsequent preterm
      birth (RR = 1.9 (0.8-4.3)) than exactly one induced abortion) was
      de Haas I, Harlow BL, Cramer DW, Frigoletto FD. Spontaneous
      preterm birth: A case-control study. Amer J Obstet Gynecol
      [chorioamnionitis increased CP odds by 320%, 95% CI=1.4-12.0]
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      antenatal and intrapartum risk factors for cerebral palsy in very
      preterm singleton babies. Lancet 1995;346:1449-1454

  31.*Hillier SL, Nugent RP, Eschenbach DA, Krohn MA,
      et al. Association Between Bacterial Vaginosis
      And Preterm Delivery Of A Low-Birth-Weight
      Infant. NEJM 1995;333:1737-1742

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      coffee consumption and adverse outcomes of pregnancy.
      NEJM 1982;306:141-145

  33. Vasso L-K, Chryssa T-B, Golding J. Previous
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      in Greece. European J Obstetrics & Gynecology
      Reproductive Biology   1990;37:99-109

  34.*Ancel P-V, Saurel-Cubizolles M-J, Renzo GCD,
      Papiernik E, Breart G. Very and moderate preterm
      births: are the risk factors different? British
      J Obstetrics and Gynaecology 1999;106:1162-1170

  35. Lumley J. The epidemiology of preterm birth.
      Bailliere's Clin Obstet Gynecology. 1993;7(3):

  36. Grindel B, Lubinski H, Voigt M. Induced abortion
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      Gynaekol 1979;101:1009-1114

  37. Kreibich H, Ludwig A. Early and late complications
      of abortion in juvenile primigravidae (including
      recommended measures). Z Aerztl Fortbild (Jena)

  38. Zwahr C, Voigt M, Kunz L, et al. Relationships
      between interruption abortion, and premature birth
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  39. Obel E, et al. Pregnancy Complications Following
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      Abortion Technique. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand

  40. Levin A, Schoenbaum S, Monson R, Stubblefield P,
      Ryan K. Association of Abortion With Subsequent
      Pregnancy Loss. JAMA 1980;243(24):2495-2499

  41. Legrillo V. Quickenton P, Therriault GD, et al.
      Effect of induced abortion on subsequent reproductive
      function. Final report to NICHD. Albany, NY: New
      York State Health Department, 1980.

  42. World Health Organization Task Force on the Sequelae
      of Abortion. Gestation, birthweight and spontaneous
      abortion. Lancet 1979;1:142-145.

  43. Ratten G et al. Effect of Abortion on Maturity of
      Subsequent Pregnancy. Med J Australia June 1979:

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      prematurity and spontaneous abortion. Acta Obstet
      Gynaecol Jpn 1976;23:140-145

  45. Harlap S, Davies AM. Late sequelae of induced abortion:
      Complications and Outcome of Pregnancy and Labor. Amer
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  46. Seidman DS, Ever-Hadani P, Slater PE, Harlap S, et al.
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      risk. J Epidemiology Community Health 1988;42:294-298

  47. Henriet L, Kaminski M. Impact of induced abortions on
      subsequent pregnancy outcome: the 1995 French national
      perinatal survey. British J Obstetrics Gynaecology


* - studies that recorded both induced and spontaneous abortions
    and did not analyze them separately.

Brent Rooney  Publishing credits:

Elective Surgery boosts Cerebral Palsy risk.
    European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and
    Reproductive Biology  2001;96(2):239-240
Delayed birth equals more cancers and preterm births.
    Western Journal of Medicine. 2001;174:385-386
Low Birth Weight: Reducing the Risk (Birthing mag.
    , Fall 1998)
Having an induced abortion increases risk in
    future pregnancies. British Medical Journal
Racism, Poverty, Abortion, and Other Reproductive
    Outcomes. EPIDEMIOLOGY 2000;11:740-741
An Early First Birth for Breast Cancer Prevention
    (ALIVE mag., April 1997)
No Breast Cancer for My Daughter - How to Reduce
    the Risk, ALIVE magazine, July/August 1995)
[ALIVE: highest circulation health mag. in Canada]
Escape from Breast Cancer  - (published on the world
    wide web:  )

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             Copyright (c) Brent Rooney   All rights reserved

Copyright (c) Brent Rooney All rights reserved _________________________________________________________________ (c)2001 American Life League, Inc.