In a sample of 1022 women aborted at a New York Clinic, 7.4% had had a previous abortion. The mean number of abortions per woman was 1.09, and the mean abortion rate per 1000 pregnancies was 568.9. Women with a history of previous abortions were significantly more likely than first aborters to be single, in their first trimester of pregnancy and New York State residents. Repeat aborters were also more likely to have practiced contraception within the previous 12 months, to have been practicing contraception at the time of conception and to plan to use contraceptives in the future. Other variables delineating repeat aborters from first aborters were that repeaters had experienced more changes in their relationship with their partner and in their social and working conditions. The data do not support the hypothesis that repeat aborters tend to use abortion as an alternative to contraception. Rather, repeat aborters are more likely to be victims of contraceptive failure, which, in turn, is associated with unstable personal relationships and social situations. Implications for future research are discussed.
© 1972 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists