Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Dec;187(6):1673-8.

A history of induced abortion in relation to substance use during subsequent pregnancies carried to term.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn, USA.



Previous research has revealed a general association between induced abortion and substance use. The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation when substance use is measured specifically during a subsequent pregnancy.


A nationally representative sample of women was surveyed about substance use during pregnancy shortly after giving birth. Women with a previous induced abortion, whose second pregnancy was delivered, were compared separately with women with one previous birth and with women with no previous births.


Compared with women who gave birth, women who had had an induced abortion were significantly more likely to use marijuana (odds ratio, 10.29; 95% CI, 3.47-30.56), various illicit drugs (odds ratio, 5.60; 95% CI, 2.39-13.10), and alcohol (odds ratio, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.31-3.76) during their next pregnancy. The results with only first-time mothers were very similar.


Psychosocial mechanisms that may explain the findings are discussed. Screening for abortion history may help to identify pregnant women who are at risk for substance use more effectively.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk