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Concerning Therapeutic Abortion

Roy J. Heffernan, MD
JAMA. 1965;193(8):687. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090080049021.
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To the Editor:—  It was disturbing to read that "therapeutic abortions may be easier to obtain... than they were twenty years ago" (JAMA193, July 5, 1965, adv p 45). Progress in the management of the complications of pregnancy has made so many other indications invalid it is difficult to understand why "psychogenic indications have increased from 13% of all abortions in 1943 to 87.5% in 1963." Many authorities have inveighed against interruption of pregnancy because of neuropsychiatric disease. Arbuse and Schechtman (Amer Pract Dig Treat1:1069-1075 [Oct] 1950) in an excellent review state: "There does not seem to be any one condition which absolutely indicates interruption of pregnancy."Ebaugh and Heuser (Postgrad Med J2:325-332 [Nov] 1947) are of the opinion that abortion may do far more harm than good to a person with a well-balanced nervous system and may cause considerable damage to a patient with


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