By Hilary White

April 20, 2009 ( – When a woman gets an abortion, the couple is more than twice as likely to argue when discussing future children, and nearly three times as likely to experience domestic violence, compared with women who carry the pregnancy to term and raise the child, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Public Health on Mar. 24.

“Abortion may play a vital role in understanding the aetiology [cause] of relationship problems,” the authors stated. The study said that abortion within a current relationship causes 116% more arguing when discussing future children, and 196% more domestic violence.

The researchers found that abortion affected future relationships as well.

“For both men and women the experience of an abortion in a previous relationship was related to negative outcomes in the current relationship,” they wrote.

“Men whose current partners had an abortion were more likely to report jealousy (96% greater risk) and conflict about drugs (385% greater risk).
“These results suggest that abortion may play a vital role in understanding the aetiology of some relationship problems,” the study’s authors wrote.

Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University headed up the study with Vincent Rue of the Florida-based Institute for Pregnancy Loss and post-abortion researcher Catherine Coyle.

The study’s findings support previous research that has found higher rates of substance abuse, serious depression and suicide after abortion. In March 2008, Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists issued a statement calling for better screening and informed consent before women undergo an abortion. The statement said that the College had undertaken a review of existing research and found that a “full systematic review around abortion and mental health is required.”

In 2005, research conducted in Finland found that aborting women were 3.5 times more likely to die within the next year compared to women who gave birth.

Read related coverage:

Abortion Kills Your Sex Life Says UK Doctor in Times Column