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June 26, 1937

Abortion, Spontaneous and Induced: Medical and Social Aspects

JAMA. 1937;108(26):2248-2249. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780260076026

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Abortion has become not only a great medical problem but also a great social problem. The author has estimated that 681,600 abortions occur annually in the United States. He endeavors to give here all the essential information available. In the historical chapter it is said that one of the oldest abortifacient recipes is still in existence although more than 4,600 years old. Abortion is mentioned in the literature of the ancient Hebrews, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Plato desired that his Republic should not consist of more than 5,040 citizens and to maintain a balance of this number he recommended the limitation of births. Aristotle is quoted as having said "If it should happen among married people that a woman who already had the number of prescribed children became pregnant, then before she felt life, the child should be driven from her." Chapters four and five review the anatomy and physiology

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