a1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale Medical School, 60 College Street New Haven, Connecticut, USA
The relationship between abortion experience and contraceptive practice is examined among women having a first or repeat induced abortion at the same clinic(n=443 in each group). A previous abortion was the single most important predictor of past contraceptive practices and of contraception at the conception of the pregnancy being terminated. A previous abortion was associated with greater use of all methods of contraception among women not on welfare (P < 0·001). During the 18–month study the proportion of patients who had had previous abortions rose from 13·3% to 21·1%, and those undergoing repeat abortions appeared increasingly likely to be on welfare. Contraceptive practies did not change over time except for women on welfare having repeat abortions who became less likely to have used contraception at the time of conception (p < 0·05). While the experience of abortion is generally associated with improved contraceptive practice, many women in this population, particularly those on welfare, appear to remain exposed to unprotected coitus and subsequent repeat abortion.
(Received November 25 1978)