Relative Body Weight as a Factor in the Decision to Abort

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Abortion referral data of 692 pregnant women visiting a large urban planned parenthood clinic were analyzed to determine whether relative weight, as measured by an adiposity index, as well as other variables, were associated with a decision to terminate or not terminate a pregnancy. Relative weight, length of pregnancy, education, age, ethnicity, and marital status were found to be associated with the decision to abort. While most of these variables have previously been shown to be related to the decision to terminate or not terminate a pregnancy, a relationship between relative weight and abortion has not previously been reported. In the analyses of all the women in this study and of a subsample consisting only of those in the early stages of their pregnancies, increased relative weight was associated with a decrease in the likelihood of termination of pregnancy. Possible reasons for this relationship and the evolutionary implications are discussed.


This article was originally published in Psychological Reports. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Psychological Reports


© Psychological Reports 1983