Teaching abortion-preterm birth link gets tentative Senate nod

Posted May 9, 2013

— The Senate gave key approval Thursday to a proposal requiring schools to teach students that abortion causes premature births, after the sponsor added instruction of other risk factors to the bill.

A final vote on Senate Bill 132 could come Monday, following a 41-5 vote on second reading.

The bill had said that the state's mandated health curriculum on reproductive health and safety should include information about the preventable causes of premature births, but it singled out only abortion as a "cause of preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies."

Sponsor Sen. Warren Daniel, R-Burke, said dozens of studies have linked abortions with premature births, and state estimates show hospitalizing these preemies cost $98.8 million in North Carolina last year.

"There's a remarkable similarity between the level of risk for preterm birth associated with smoking and the level of risk for preterm birth associated with induced abortion in a previous pregnancy," Daniel said. "If there's a rationale for including the risks of smoking in preconception education, there's a rationale for including the risks of previous induced abortions."

Still, Daniel said, the heated discussion of the measure in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday prompted him to offer an amendment that would add smoking, drinking, drug use and poor prenatal care to the list of risk factors for premature birth that would be included in instruction.

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, said she also would like to add to the list of taught risk factors elective premature deliveries, whether induced or Cesarean section, that are done simply for the convenience of the mother or her obstetrician.

"All pregnancies should be carried to full term," said Kinnaird, who plans to offer an amendment to that effect before the final Senate vote on the bill.

Sen. Angela Bryant, D-Nash, was the only senator to speak against the bill, saying there is much disagreement in the medical community about the link between abortion and subsequent premature deliveries. She expressed concern that anyone who presents a conflicting opinion in a classroom might be disciplined for violating the law.

"The correlation between abortion and preterm delivery is not well settled science," Bryant said. "I'm concerned about teaching our students what is our opinion, religious belief, philosophical belief (or) minority expert point of view as some absolute science or medical evidence."


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU May 13, 2013

    Ah, yes, more Big Government decrees from the self-professed "less government" crowd.

    The next thing they'll do is to use government to regulate who people can love and marry.


  • JustOneGodLessThanU May 13, 2013

    This rightwing conclusion is as accurate as them saying the earth is 6,000 years old. Bad science. ...or rather, no science, just belief.

  • Bendal1 May 10, 2013

    Ellie Kinnard is mentally deficient; I have a friend whose first pregnancy required an emergency C-section before she reached full term. Her claim that "all pregnancies should reach full term" is just more ignorant and typical stupid conservative opinion without anything to back it up.

  • Hubris May 10, 2013

    "YOU are NOT the experts. Doctors should be the expert."

    Dukefan1, and that's exactly where they are getting their data from. Did you read the story?

  • Hubris May 10, 2013

    "It is my understanding that this association has disappeared due to advances in abortion techniques."

    khhinnc, Have they advanced the technology to where the baby doesn't die? If not, there is no advancement.

  • khhinnc May 9, 2013

    It is my understanding that this association has disappeared due to advances in abortion techniques. (http://www.internalmedicinenews.com/single-view/previous-abortion-no-longer-a-risk-factor-for-preterm-birth/f90947264d1f4b2022cf01f586a4349c.html) If there is still a greater risk, don't we think medical professionals should be improving the techniques? Why do we want to make a law about teaching something that is likely to change? We should teach the most up-to-date scientific information. I'd like to think that NC students could understand "some scientific studies have shown a link between these two factors, but.....[insert findings from contradictory studies here].

  • terri1of8 May 9, 2013

    Marty McCaffrey, a neonatologist and associate professor of pediatrics at UNC-Chapel Hill, regarding the link between abortion and subsequent risk of pre-term births in women. “The truth is that if abortions were bananas, they would be covered with surgeon general warnings,” he said.

    I think this is a quote worth knowing.

  • Billy the Kid May 9, 2013

    I agree, Dukefan. Just like Obama decided he knew best when it came to healthcare. Outrageous, isn't it?

  • Dukefan1 May 9, 2013

    Here we go again GOP. Sticking your nose where it does not belong. YOU are NOT the experts. Doctors should be the expert. You are not our MAMA!