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Women requesting a second or subsequent abortion should be screened for abuse

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 10 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:560
  1. David Spurgeon
  1. Quebec

Women undergoing an abortion for a second or subsequent time were much more likely than woman undergoing a first abortion to have experienced physical abuse by a male partner, sexual abuse, or coercion, a study in the journal of the Canadian Medical Association shows. The researchers say that these findings show that women presenting for a second or subsequent abortion should be screened for such a history (CMAJ 2005;172:637-41).

Of 1127 women presenting to a regional centre in southwestern Ontario between August 1998 and May 1999 for a termination of pregnancy, 769 (68.2%) were undergoing a first abortion, 260 (23.1%) a second abortion, and 98 (8.7%) a third or subsequent abortion. The participants were …

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