Study Links Abortion to Substance Abuse and Suicide

A new study done by David Reardon of the Elliott Institute and Dr. Philip Ney, a British Columbia psychiatrist, specializing in post-abortion counseling, reports that, "Women who have an abortion are five times more likely to report subsequent substance abuse compared to women who carry to term." The study, which was published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, was the latest of at least 16 studies reporting such a link. Dr. Reardon estimates that there are 150,000 to 500,000 cases of abortion-related substance abuse each year. 

Substance abuse is a leading cause of neonatal death and malformation in pregnancy. Dr. Ney says, "I have found that women with resolved grief or trauma related to a prior abortion are more likely to feel anxiety, fear,and depression during subsequent pregnancies," Ney said. "If they are unable to legally obtain mood-altering drugs with a prescription, many of these women resort to alcohol or illegal drugs as a means of suppressing unwanted feelings about their past abortions."

The Elliott Institute reports that, "A recent major study of death certificates and government medical records in Finland has shown that the risk of death from suicide is six times higher for women who have had an abortion compared to women who gave birth. The researchers also found that the risk of dying from accidents and homicide was four and twelve times higher, respectively, in the year following an abortion."

For further information, contact David C. Reardon, Ph.D., at the Elliot Institute, (217)525-8202; or Philip G. Ney, M.D., IIPLCARR (250) 642-1848.

On-Line link to Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse article by Reardon and Ney: