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June 13, 1977

Safety of Abortion-Reply

Author Affiliations

Abortion Surveillance Branch Center for Disease Control Atlanta

JAMA. 1977;237(24):2602. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270510023008

In Reply.—  Dr Dolan's letter questions our conclusions regarding the relative safety of legal abortion in the United States by citing references from England and Eastern Europe that describe high rates of early and late complications. Extrapolating rates from foreign studies to this country can be misleading. The majority of published reports from the United States on the early medical complications from legal abortion1-4 have described much lower rates of total and major complications than have the reports of Dr Stallworthy and his associates in England.5Moreover, the issue of late sequelae after legally induced abortion is unresolved. To date, no studies on long-term complications have been reported from the United States. However, in contrast to those studies cited by Dr Dolan, other well-controlled studies in the Far East and Eastern Europe have found no adverse effects on reproductive function for women who had previous induced abortions.6-8