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April 1969

Follow-up of Therapeutic Abortion

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(4):408-414. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740160024004

MARKED LARKED differences of opinion among psychiatrists and gynecologists about many aspects of therapeutic abortion may be based upon differing moral and philosophical positions. They derive also from each physician's personal clinical experience with therapeutic abortion and on his interpretation of the pertinent psychiatric literature which often has presented conflicting conclusions. Often it is difficult or impossible to distinguish idiosyncratic opinions or random impressions from the carefully documented findings of clinical research. We determined to investigate the two most striking areas of differing opinion: (1) The extent to which patients consciously exaggerate psychopathology in order to obtain psychiatric consent for abortion and (2) The psychological aftermath of abortion.

The widespread suspicion of conscious manipulation of physicians by abortion patients is not surprising. It springs directly from the obvious conflict between most state abortion laws and the pressing needs of the pregnant woman. In all but five states (Colorado, North Carolina,

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