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October 17, 1942

Current Comment

JAMA. 1942;120(7):538. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830420046015

FREQUENCY OF ABORTION AND ITS EFFECT ON MATERNAL MORTALITY  For obvious reasons, reliable national figures on the frequency of abortion or of deaths from abortion have not been available. All the studies on this subject have been limited in scope and generally confined to hospitals or clinics located in larger cities. Recently Dunn,1 chief statistician for vital statistics of the Bureau of the Census, has reviewed the available information on the subject and subjected it to careful analysis. From this evidence he concludes that the number of deaths from abortion in the United States in 1940 may be estimated at between three and four thousand, which probably constitutes about 30 to 35 per cent of maternal deaths from all causes. Although the general rate for puerperal causes has been decreased, the death rate for abortion has probably not changed much. It is clear, therefore, that the role of abortion in maternal deaths

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