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June 24, 1961

Legalized Abortion in Eastern Europe

JAMA. 1961;176(12):1056. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040250082035

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To the Editor:—  The increased use of legalized abortion in Eastern Europe recently reported in The Journal (175:1149 [April 1] 1961) has no medical justification. Better management of the complications of obstetrics has nullified the traditional indications for therapeutic abortion. Well-regulated clinics and well-trained physicians in increasing numbers are consigning interruption of pregnancy, with craniotomy on the living child, to the limbo of discarded, destructive obstetrical operations.As for the "compelling socioeconomic reasons," one wonders how members of a profession dedicated to the saving of human life can be induced to cooperate in such a diabolical program. One of the most important precepts of the World Health Organization is, "I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity."Surely these countries can find better ways of relieving social

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