Summary: Abortion and Increased Risk of Substance Abuse

Survey shows that women who resolve their unintended pregnancies through abortion have an increased risk of substance abuse.

  • Data collected from 1979 through 1988 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth has shown that unintended pregnancies resolved through abortion are associated with an increased risk for various forms of substance use. Comparing women with a history of abortion to women who carried to term, abortion was significantly associated with more frequent drinking and a greater likelihood of using marijuana. Therefore, a history of abortion may be a useful marker for identifying women in need of counseling for substance abuse.1

1Substance Use Associated with Unintended Pregnancy Outcomes in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 2004, 30:2:369-383.


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