The Elliot Institute News

From the Leader in Post-Abortion Research




Special Report:
Repeat Abortions


Two recently published studies have documented risks
for women undergoing multiple abortions. This special issue
of the Elliot Institute News explores the impact of repeat abortion.


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Repeat Abortions

What the Research Says


According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, approximately 45 percent of abortions are repeat abortions. Two new studies released this past month have found increased risks for women who undergo multiple abortions.


One study, co-authored by Elliot Institute director Dr. David Reardon, found that women who undergo abortions have an increased risk of death:


A single induced abortion increases the risk of maternal death by 45 percent compared to women with no history of abortion, according to a new study of all women of reproductive age in Denmark over a 25 year period.


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Understanding Repeat Abortions

An Excerpt from "Forbidden Grief"

By Theresa Burke with David C. Reardon


Note: The following is an excerpt from the book Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion.

Approximately half of all women who have an abortion have had one or more previous abortions. Women with a history of more than one abortion are likely to suffer more severe physical and psychological problems after abortion. Studies of women having repeat abortions show that they are more likely to live in less stable social situations, have nearly twice as many psychological problems, and have twice as much reliance on social support services. They are also more likely to go through a divorce, to be involved in substance abuse, and to rely on public welfare.

This problem of repeat abortions is not due to callousness or the careless use of birth control. Instead, it is far more likely that women who have multiple abortions are caught in a pattern of reenacting their traumatic abortions.

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"So Much of Me Died"

One Woman's Story


I remember the events surrounding my abortions clearly. There are some things that are so utterly terrible, so devastating, they never fade from the mind or heart.


I idolized my boyfriend, whom I met when I was 17. I was 23 when I first became pregnant by him. We had been together on and off for several years. Despite his treatment of me, which at times could be very cruel, and his vicious temper, I truly loved him. I just had to try harder, or be better, or take more care to avoid upsetting him. I dreaded his temper and would put up with just about anything to avoid a scene.

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