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March of Dimes Ignores Abortion-Premature Birth Link

by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com
August 5, 2003

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The March of Dimes, an organization that prides itself on working to eliminate handicaps in children, is ignoring the link between abortion and premature
births, according to the Elliot Institute, which researches the physical and psychological effects of abortion. The pro-life organization accuses the March of Dimes of trying to cover up the fact that women who have had abortions need to be especially vigilant in receiving adequate prenatal care in subsequent pregnancies.

The March of Dimes has removed information from its website about the risk of premature birth following abortion. Previously, the website had included a statement that women with a history of three or more miscarriages or abortions may be at higher risk of premature delivery. In actuality, the risk of premature birth increases after only one induced abortion, according to the
Elliot Institute.

David Reardon, the director of the Elliot Institute says at least 50 published studies have shown significantly higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight deliveries among women with
a history of abortion. One of the best, a Danish record based study, found the risk doubled after just one abortion. Multiple abortions increase the risk even more. Reardon says a doubling of
risk among an estimated one-fourth of delivering women who have a prior history of abortion would result in a 25 percent rise overall.

Rather than changing the website to include the more accurate information, the March of Dimes eliminated mention of the risk entirely.

"Has it (March of Dimes) updated its website and literature to better prepare American couples to receive adequate prenatal care to avoid premature births when there is a history of induced
abortion?" Reardon asks. "No. March of Dimes has instead decided it must try even harder to cover up the abortion link to neonatal deaths and handicaps by removing even the vastly understated risk of premature birth after three or four abortions from their website!"

Officially, the March of Dimes maintains a neutral stance on abortion. Nevertheless, pro-life groups such as the Life Issues Institute have encouraged a boycott of the organization, noting
that the March of Dimes appears to take positions that can be construed as anti-life.

For instance, a March of Dimes booklet offers no statement condemning abortion as an unacceptable "solution" to the problem of birth defects. Rather, the booklet includes this comment: "When a birth defect is diagnosed, genetic counselors provide emotional support and understanding during what can be a very difficult time. If there are decisions to be made--about the pregnancy, the care of a child, having more children, or about the ability of the family to cope with ongoing problems--the parents can make more informed choices with the facts in hand."

In fact, MOD has also given grants to research on genetic problems that might encourage doctors to suggest abortions.

Abortionist Maurice Mahoney received $35,000 for research on chorionic villi sampling and for developing a prenatal diagnostic technique which would permit the first-trimester Abortion of affected unborn children. From 1989 to 1990, MOD gave $50,000 to Dr. Haig H. Kazazian of Johns Hopkins University, a staunch advocate of eugenic abortion, to perfect methods to detect, early in pregnancy, disorders such as Beta-Thalassemia, Hemophilia A, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and Cystic Fibrosis -- none of which is treatable in the womb.

In addition, March of Dimes policy states that the organization "supports the use of fetal tissue research as one technique to broaden understanding of human biology and pregnancy outcome."

While the March of Dimes does state that it supports federal policy on fetal tissue transplantation, "with its safeguards against abuse or incentives for abortion," pro-life groups point out that such fetal tissue research will inevitably encourage abortion.

MOD has, in fact, funded fetal experimentation and fetal tissue use for more than two decades. In the early 1970s, MOD gave $19,000 to Dr. John F. S. Crocker of Dalhousie University in
Halifax, Nova Scotia, to study congenital kidney abnormalities. This study involved "60 pairs of embryonic kidneys ... obtained from human therapeutic abortions after five to twelve weeks
gestation."

The March of Dimes has also had pro-abortion advocates in leadership positions.

Henry Foster, who was rejected by the Senate as President Clinton's nominee for Surgeon General, served on MOD's Medical Service Advisory Committee. While on the committee, Foster
admitted doing nearly 700 abortions following the results of amniocentesis.

Foster also defended fetoscopic prenatal research as "clearly therapeutic" since "it was done for the same reasons that we do amniocentesis, to decide whether or not the pregnancy should
continue, and to provide a therapeutic abortion."