Coleman, P. K., Rue, V., Coyle, C. (2009). Induced abortion and quality of intimate relationships: Analysis of male and female data from the Chicago Health and Social Life Survey. Public Health 123, 331–338.
Objectives: To examine associations between abortion and relationship functioning. Study design: Independent variables included abortion in a previous relationship and abortion in a current relationship. Perceptions of quality-of-life changes associated with terminating the relationship, conflict, aggressiveness and sexual dysfunction were the outcome measures. Methods: Data were derived from interviews with an ethnically diverse urban sample of men (n=658) and women (n=906). Surveys were conducted in person using computer-assisted personal interview technology by the National Opinion Research Center affiliated with the University of Chicago, USA. Results:For men and women, the experience of an abortion in a previous relationship was related to negative outcomes in the current relationship; perceptions of improved quality of life if the current relationship also ended and intimate partner violence. Experience of an abortion within a current relationship was associated with 116% and 196% increased risk of arguing about children for women and men, respectively. Among females, experience of an abortion within a current relationship was associated with increased risk for various forms of sexual dysfunction (122–182%), increased risk of arguments about money (75%), increased risk of conflict about the partner's relatives (80%), and increased risk of arguing about the respondent's relatives (99%). Men whose current partners had experienced an abortion were more likely to report jealousy (96% greater risk) and conflict about drugs (385% greater risk).
Conclusion: Abortion may play a vital role in understanding the aetiology of relationship problems.