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July 29, 1974

Menstrual Extraction

Author Affiliations

Population Services International Dorset, England

JAMA. 1974;229(5):518. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230430012002

To the Editor.—  The COMMENTARY on menstrual extraction (228:849, 1974) is gravely in error in fact, opinion, and judgment on virtually every count. The authors appear to speak for what now could be termed "institutionalized abortion" and appear to feel threatened. It is a travesty of current medical philosophy that anyone could attempt to argue positive virtues for abortion in face of innovative, simpler means to rational fertility control. The new terms appeared in response to the clear need for nomenclature to distinguish the idea "menses induction as early as possible as fertility control" from both abortion and contraception.Some terminological confusion appeared from press accounts in mid 1972. It is intriguing to see the confusion perpetuated in mainstream medicine two years later.Menstrual extraction is vacuum curettage, usually self-employed, at or about due date of onset to avert menstruation; in this use fertility control is a spin-off benefit. The term