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A new study conducted by a Bowling Green State University professor and an expert on consequences of abortion finds that women are more likely to be treated for sleep disorders or disturbances following an induced abortion compared to a birth.

The study provides more evidence that women who have abortions face a host of negative emotional and psychological issues. Dr. Priscilla Coleman, professor of Development and Family Studies at BGSU teamed with Dr. David Reardon of the Illinois-based Elliot Institute and examined records for 56,824 women with no known history of sleep disorders.

The authors examined the records of 15,345 women who had an induced abortion and 41,479 women who gave birth. Compared to women who carry unintended pregnancies to term, research shows that women who have abortions are more susceptible to generalized anxiety disorder and depression and are more likely to receive psychiatric treatment, according to background information in the article.

“Clinicians may be able to make more-appropriate referrals for counseling if they are aware of these potential relationships,” the authors wrote.

They found that women had considerable troubles sleeping during the first 180 days following the abortion. Sleep disorders are linked with mood disorders and other psychiatric illnesses, which explains the problems women have sleeping following the emotional ordeal of an abortion. Many women attribute sleep difficulties to abortion, but this self-diagnosis has not been tested using record-based evidence until now.

The new study was published in the January 2006 issue of the medical journal Sleep, the leading publication for groups and doctors who deal with sleep disorders.