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June 25, 1973

Medical News

JAMA. 1973;224(13):1697-1709. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220270003002

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Abortion cuts numbers of abandoned infants, immature births  The rate of delivery for immature infants has dropped sharply at a large Brooklyn public hospital, apparently as the result of New York State's liberalized abortion law.In addition, significantly fewer mothers have been abandoning newly born babies at Kings County Hospital-Downstate Medical Center (KCH-DMC) since the new law went into effect in July 1970, says Jonathan T. Lanman, MD, of the Population Council.Premature birth rates also continued to decline at KCH-DMC, but this trend had started earlier, Dr. Lanman reported to the American Pediatric-Society meeting in San Francisco. He said five other Brooklyn hospitals with greater numbers of white, private patients than KCH-DMC did not show corresponding changes. These institutions also had had lower immature and premature birth rates before the law change.All of the hospitals shared one thing, however: an enormous (5,800%) increase in the number of elective