Emotional distress patterns among women having first or repeat abortions

Ellen W. Freeman, Karl Rickels, George R. Huggins, Celso Ramon Garcia, Joel Polin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Thirty-five percent of a sample of 413 women undergoing first-trimester abortions were repeating abortions. All patients rated their emotional symptoms on an SCL-90 scale and completed a brief demographic questionnaire. Preabortion and postabortion emotional distress factors and associated demographic characteristics were compared for women having first and those undergoing repeat abortions. Elevated distress levels were similar in both groups prior to abortion procedures, particularly depression, anxiety, and somatization. After abortion, repeat aborters continued to have significantly higher emotional distress scores in dimensions relating to interpersonal relationships. The variables that discriminated most between first and repeat abortion groups were number of living children, race, and phobic anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-636
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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