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Jan 12, 1995 12:18 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

One thing I think important to keep in mind is the prevalence of
spontaneous abortion.  Quoting from Jonathan Scher's Preventing
Miscarriage (1990):

In general, we can now accept that from 50 to 60 percent of first
pregnancies miscarry, and the figure may be in reality much
higher.  This means that at least one in two first pregnancies
are lost naturally.  Just last year, however, the New England
Journal of Medicine came out with the controversial figure of 31
percent for all "implanting" embryos (the ones that have actually
embedded in the uterus) that miscarry.  As many as 75 percent of
all fertilized eggs, including those that never implant, do not
yield a full-term baby...if every woman had a very early
pregnancy test done, every month, throughout her reproductive
life, then the rate of spontaneous miscarriage would probably
turn out to be even higher.  End quote

With 4 million live births per year in the US, using the 75%
failure rate yields a total of 16 million pregnancies.  The
number of medical abortions performed annually is about 1
million.  Thus the ratio of spontaneous to medical abortion would
be about 11 to 1.  I won't go into the ethical implications of
this, except to suggest that the great majority of monads will
make more than one effort to incarnate before succeeding.

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