I'm not a scientist, but....

I was just reading this article from the Telegraph which is reporting on a study that ostensibly proves that having an abortion can have a negative impact on any pregnancies that follow the abortion.

I'm just a secretary, but the following paragraph that explains the methodology used sort of raised a flag for me:

Her study compared the medical histories of 2,219 women with babies born at less than 34 weeks with another 618 who had given birth at full term. Overall, women who had had an abortion were 40 per cent more likely to have a very pre-term delivery (less than 33 weeks) than those without such a history. The risk of an extremely premature baby - one born at less than 28 weeks - was raised even more sharply, by 70 per cent. Abortion appeared to increase the risk of most major causes of premature birth, including premature rupture of membranes, incorrect position of the foetus on the placenta and spontaneous early labour. The only common cause of premature birth not linked to abortion was high blood pressure.

I would think that if you wanted to determine whether abortion impacts future pregnancies, the sample you would want would be women who had abortions and then went on to have another pregnancy - then you could determine how many women who had abortions experienced problems with a subsequent pregnancy. And then you would have to have a control group, I guess, of women who did not have abortions but had more than one pregnancy, to determine the differences between the two, and whether any of the problems experienced can be linked to abortion.

This sample seems to be heavily weighed to include women who have not delivered a full-term baby, so it seems natural that a large percentage of them would have problems with subsequent pregnancies, whether or not they've had an abortion. And what percentage of the women who had premature births had them because of high blood pressure, which was not linked to abortion? That statistic is not included.

So help me out, scientifically inclined readers - am I off base in my concerns about this study?

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