Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Study: repeat abortion linked to contraception use

I just fell on this study published in 2005, examining the characteristics of women who underwent repeat abortions in the area of London, Ontario,1998-1999:

Our findings of a relation between repeat abortion and physical abuse by a male partner and sexual abuse or violence suggest continued effects of these on women's health outcomes. It is possible that a history of physical abuse by a partner or of sexual abuse or violence results in lasting psychologic changes that lead the woman to decide that carrying a pregnancy to term is not desirable. It is also possible that physical or sexual abuse is an indicator of the existence of social environment factors that were initially conducive to abuse and that are currently conducive to the decision to terminate a pregnancy in the event that one occurs. Women undergoing repeat induced abortion do not, however, appear to be inconsistent users of contraception compared with women undergoing a first abortion. In fact, we found that the former were somewhat more likely than the latter to report using birth control at the time of conception.

This study was funded by Janssen-Ortho.

In this study, about 32% of the abortion were repeats. Across Canada, 35% of abortions are repeat abortions.

What this tells me is that more contraception is not the answer to avoid abortion.

There was a greater use of contraception, but a higher incidence of abortion:

Women presenting for a third or subsequent abortion were more than 2.5 times as likely as those seeking a first abortion to report a history of physical abuse by a male partner or a history of sexual abuse or violence.

Contraception masks many problems: it does not solve them. It does deal with the factors that lead to abortion, such as domestic conflict. Would the women have aborted if their domestic situation had been better? I wonder if they would have preferred keeping the baby, rather than aborting.

That would have been an interesting question.