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Study Links Abortion, Substance Abuse

BY STAFF                                                                                                                     ©2010 Baptist Press

study from the University of Manitoba has found that women who have had an abortion are nearly four times as likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol as those who have not.

Researchers also identified an association between mental disorders and abortion and suggested that doctors should screen for a history of abortion in women who present symptoms of anxiety, mood disorders and substance abuse.

Published in the April issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychology, the study said depression and substance abuse plague about half of American women who reported having an abortion, according to the
Winnipeg Free Press.

Research involving more than 3,300 women showed that about 25 percent who had undergone an abortion acknowledged some substance abuse, while such abuse was found in only 7 percent of non-abortive women, the Free Press reported.

Women who had abortions were 3.8 times more likely to have substance use disorders than those who had not, even when an exposure to violence -- which increases the odds of substance abuse -- was factored in, the Toronto Sun reported.

 "The bond between a woman and her unborn baby is very powerful," C. Ben Mitchell, professor of moral philosophy at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, said in comments to Baptist Press. "It shouldn't be surprising to anyone, therefore, that abortion is a traumatic experience and that subsequent substance abuse is higher among those who have had one."     

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