A new study published in the European Journal of Public Health shows that women are more likely to die after having an abortion. “Reproductive history patterns and long-term mortality rates: a Danish, population-based record linkage study,” co-authored by P.K. Coleman, D.C. Reardon, and B.C. Calhoun, used records of Danish women born from 1962 to 1993 to find a relation between pregnancy outcome and mortality within a 25-year period.

Coleman, a professor of human development and family studies at Bowling Green State University, told MercatorNet: “Most existing statistics rely upon death certificates to estimate maternal mortality… without data linkage to complete pregnancy and abortion records… large population-based record-linkage studies, containing complete reproductive history data and data related to deaths, provide a unique opportunity to bypass many of the limitations of the currently available maternal mortality data in most countries. Our study was this type of study.”

Coleman and her colleagues found that a woman undergoing a combination of abortion and natural losses (miscarriage or still birth) is three times likelier to die than someone whose pregnancies were all successful. Women who have had 1, 2, or 3 abortions had a 45, 114, and 191 per cent higher risk of death, respectively, compared to women with no abortions. The rate was slightly lower for women experiencing natural losses: 44, 86, and 150 per cent higher compared to women whose pregnancies went to term. Giving birth was found to lower mortality – two births translated to an 83 per cent decrease and three or more to a 44 per cent decrease in death rate compared to women with no births. Women who only had abortions were 66 per cent more likely to die than women who only gave birth. However, having both induced abortion and birth meant a 56 per cent increase in mortality, while natural loss and birth only resulted in a 29 per cent increase in mortality.

The study mirrors trends in records analyzed by David Reardon, who co-authored the study, that showed U.S. women who aborted had had a 62 per cent higher risk of death over the next eight years than women who delivered. 1997 and 2004 population-based studies conducted in Finland had similar results. An earlier 2012 report related birth to a 14-fold increase in death rate, but Coleman told MercatorNet that their study had flaws: there was underreporting and abortion-related deaths occurring after the first trimester were not addressed by the authors.

Coleman told MercatorNet that her team’s findings may be due to the mental health problems associated with abortion, which means “they are more prone to experiencing accidents, negative partner relationships, and suicide, and their overall physical health may decline rendering them more susceptible to chronic and acute physical ailments.” Meanwhile, “there is a great deal of medical research demonstrating physical and psychological benefits of full-term pregnancy, so women who have not experienced a pregnancy will not benefit from them.”

In a news release for the National Right to Life Committee, Randal K. O’Bannon wrote, “what this data shows, with increasing clarity, is that abortion is deadly for mothers as well as their children.”