Pro-abortion counselor sees link between abortion and substance abuse


In a book of essays by pro-abortion writers, substance abuse counselor Lauri Wollner writes about how many of the men and women who come to her for counseling are suffering grief and guilt from past abortions. Wollner is pro-abortion. She believes abortion should be legal. But she admits that an abortion can haunt a man or woman for a long time, and that it can perpetuate a substance abuse problem.

Wollner talks about the role guilt plays in addiction, and specifically mentions abortion:

I worked with adult men and women who had been abusing alcohol and drugs and coping with mental illness for the majority of their lives.… One of the key reasons people continue to abuse their bodies is because of some level of self hatred. Somewhere along the line, they did something that they hate themselves for. And, whether they think their parents won’t forgive them, or their God won’t forgive them, or whatever, they continue to punish themselves and become their own biggest executioner, and they become unable to let go of whatever has been trapped. I cannot tell you how many of them had unresolved guilt, grief, and/or anger relating to their own abortion or someone close to them having an abortion. I sat with more than one man while he cried because his girlfriend had an abortion. I sat with more than one woman who could not forgive herself for having had one.

This quote by a pro-choice author in a pro-choice book shows the harm abortion does to men and women.  Abortion guilt contributes to self-hatred, which drives men and women to punish themselves. In these cases, post-abortive people hurt themselves by abusing drugs and alcohol, which may also dull the pain they feel from their abortions.

Studies also show a correlation between abortion and future substance abuse. One study showed that 60% of post-abortive women interviewed abused drugs or alcohol after their abortions. Only 10% of these women reported issues with substance abuse before their abortions.

An older study showed that women who had abortions were more than twice as likely to be heavy drinkers than those who had not had abortions. And a third study, conducted in 1999, showed that the rate of substance abuse rose from 3.8 percent for women who did not abort to 14.6 percent among women who had abortions. You can find more details of these studies at

Wollner’s experience, then, is not unique. The fact that even a pro-choice book was forced to acknowledge a link between abortion and substance abuse shows how much evidence there is for a link.

Source: Lauri Wollner “Tiny, Golden Feet” in Krista Jacob’s Abortion under Attack: Women on the Challenges Facing Choice (Emeryville, CA: Seal Press, 2006) 163 -164

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