To the Editor.—
The question of incomplete reporting notwithstanding, the article by Cates et al (237:452-455, 1977) on abortion mortality presents an unwarranted impression of maternal safety. To claim that "legal abortion in the first trimester was nearly nine times safer" than carrying the pregnancy to term ignores significant, well-documented risk factors for women. Indeed, "the termination of pregnancy, even in the early weeks, is neither simple nor safe."1 Aside from the early sequelae (infection, hemorrhage, uterine perforation), long-term morbidity in the form of subsequent prematurity and infertility are clearly evolving as "ravages of the liberal abortion era."2 Iffy, among others, has written forcefully on the "sinister remote effects of therapeutic abortion"3 increasing premature births and perinatal mortality.4 Secondary infertility is becoming an additional untoward result of artificial pregnancy termination.5In summary, published data contrast markedly with the "relatively safe surgical procedure" that induced abortion
Dolan WV. Safety of Abortion. JAMA. 1977;237(24):2601–2602. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270510023007
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