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Study: Women who abort their first pregnancies have 4x more abortions over their lifetimes

pregnancy centers, ministers

A new peer-reviewed study from the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) has found that women whose first pregnancy ends in abortion are “likely to have more pregnancies, more abortions, and more miscarriages than women whose first pregnancy ends in a live birth,” according to a CLI press release

The study utilized 17 years of anonymized Medicaid claims data from the 17 states which use taxpayer funds to cover abortion through their Medicaid programs. Data from 5,453 continuously eligible Medicaid beneficiaries between 1999 and 2015 was analyzed; women who were age 16 in 1999 were organized into three groups based on the outcome of their first pregnancies: birth, natural loss, or abortion. 

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The study found that, compared to women whose first pregnancies resulted in a live birth, women whose first pregnancies ended in abortion had, on average:

  • 53% more miscarriages 
  • 35% more pregnancies over their reproductive lifetimes
  • More than four times as many abortions
  • Only half the number of live births

Dr. James Studnicki, CLI vice president of data analytics and lead author of the study, stated: “Abortion proponents want Americans to believe that abortion empowers women. That optimistically misplaced narrative is simply not supported by the actual reproductive experiences of real women.” He added:

The increased likelihood of multiple abortions should be alarming to public health officials knowing that several other peer-reviewed studies have found women who experience multiple abortions are at greater risk of future pregnancy complications, mental health disorders, and even death. This means that a first pregnancy abortion puts women at increased risk for a cascade of lifetime adverse events.

Tessa Longbons, CLI’s senior research associate and a co-author of the study, said:

A woman’s first pregnancy shapes the course of her life. … While pro-abortion politicians attack pro-life pregnancy centers, the reality is that the compassionate counseling offered by these community-based organizations is exactly what a woman needs to preserve her long-term physical, mental, and reproductive health.

According to CLI’s press release, this study is “the first to utilize 17 years of anonymized Medicaid claims data to identify each woman’s first pregnancy outcome – birth, abortion, or natural loss – and then trace the outcomes of every subsequent pregnancy.” It adds, “No [other] published research to date has addressed the association of a first pregnancy outcome with each and every subsequent pregnancy outcome.”

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