WOMEN HAVING ABORTIONS MORE LIKELY TO ABUSE DRUGS, ALCOHOL STUDY SHOWS. Women who have abortions are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol compared with those who carry a pregnancy to term, a new Australian study shows.
The results of the study are important given that the American Psychological Association is preparing another review of the literature on how abortion adversely affects women.
The study involved 1,122 women born at Mater hospital in the 1980s who were tracked following their birth.
Kaeleen Dingle, of the University of Queensland, reported the results at a recent meeting of the World Psychiatric Association at a conference in Melbourne.
About one-third of the women in the group had abortions and those who did were three times more likely to abuse hard drugs like heroin or meth than women who were never pregnant or kept their baby.
The women who had abortions were also twice as likely to be an alcoholic or engage in binge drinking and 1.5 times more likely to suffer from depression.
Dingle talked with the Australian Associated Press about the study.
"This is a very interesting but also very controversial finding and it still remains to be seen what exactly the connection is," she said.
"It might be that women who have abortions are also more likely to live a riskier and more abusive lifestyle but there's also some evidence to suggest the procedure itself could put women on that path," Dingle told AAP.
"So these women, from my findings, seem to be definitely more affected in some ways," Dingle concluded.
The results aren't surprising given that other studies have confirmed the mental health problems women suffer following an abortion.
A January 2006 review from the Christchurch Health and Development Study finds women who have abortions are more likely to become severely depressed.
Some 42 percent of the women who had abortions had experienced major depression within the last four years. That's almost double the rate of women who never became pregnant. The risk of anxiety disorders also doubled.
According to the study, women who have abortions were twice as likely to drink alcohol at dangerous levels and three times as likely to be addicted to illegal drugs.
Dr. David Reardon, director of the Springfield, Illinois-based Elliot Institute, says abortion is partly to blame for an increase in considering suicide.
"Given the fact that more than half of all women having abortions are under the age of 25, and more than 20 percent of women having abortions are teenagers, the increased suicide rate among teens and young women is sadly not a surprise," Reardon has previously said.
An Elliot Institute study published in August 2003 edition of the Southern Medical Journal found that women who had abortions were seven times more likely to commit suicide than women who gave birth.
Meanwhile, researchers at Bowling Green State University in 2004 examined data on nearly 11,000 women between the ages of 15 and 34 who had experienced an unintended pregnancy.
Their survey found that women who have abortions of unexpected pregnancies were 30 percent more likely to experience subsequent problems with anxiety than those who don't have one.
Women in the study who had abortions and suffered from general anxiety disorder experienced irritability, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, a pounding or racing heart, or feelings of unreality.
Related: Elliot Institute – http://www.afterabortion.info
[4Dec07, Ertelt, LifeNews.com, Melbourne, Australia, http://www.lifenews.com/int553.html]