Summary: Abortion Connected to Subsequent Substance Abuse

Women who go through an abortion are more likely to surrender to substance abuse than women who carry their pregnancies to term.

  • According to the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse there is a significant connection between women who have had an abortion and subsequent substance abuse. Researchers distributed a mass mailing survey to 4,929 women between the ages of 24 and 44 years old. 700 surveys were returned, and 22% of the respondents reported having at least one induced abortion. In order to explore the effect of the outcome of a first pregnancy on subsequent abuse, the survey population was further limited to white women with a history of at least one pregnancy, excluding women who were presently pregnancy at the time of the survey, women whose first abortion occurred after their first pregnancy, and women with a reported history of substance abuse prior to their first pregnancy. Within this group, tests showed that women who aborted their first pregnancy were 4.5 ties more likely to report substance abuse than women who had never undergone an induced abortion. Additionally, a history of substance abuse was associated with being younger at the time of sexual intercourse and being younger at the time of first pregnancy. Because of this finding, pre-abortion counseling should include the discussion of the increased risk of post-abortion substance abuse.1

    Abortion and Subsequent Substance Abuse, American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2000


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