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October 26, 1970

Abortion: Law, Choice and Morality

Author Affiliations

Yale University New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1970;214(4):765. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180040067034

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This book reviews the medical, legal, and theological aspects of abortion as they exist in the various parts of the world. In a fourth section, entitled "Implementing a Social Position," Callahan reflects on the way a knowledge of these facts can help both the individual and her counsellor (and society as well) find a more satisfactory solution for unwanted pregnancies than that of abortion.

In the medical section, the author reviews the biological and psychological problems leading to requests for abortion, citing the changing frequency and usage of these designations in support of the termination of pregnancy. He then traces the changing attitudes of society as reflected in the legal codes regulating abortion practice. It is of interest to note that several societies (Eastern Europe and Japan) which were the first to develop relatively unrestrictive laws have subsequently moved toward a more restricting position, partly on the basis of a