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November 25, 1974

Research on the Fetus

JAMA. 1974;230(8):1125. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240080014008

To the Editor.—  Let us reiterate forcefully that our COMMENTARY was directed toward issues concerning abortus research, not toward abortion per se. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided that the constitutional right to privacy prohibits the State from interfering with a woman's right to control her own reproductive process (see MEDICOLEGAL ROUNDS [229:338, 1974]); thus, charges such as "abortion is not a victimless crime" should be aimed at the Constitution of the United States and those who interpret it.As our COMMENTARY related only to abortus research conducted "responsibly and properly... once life has departed," statements such as "lawless laissez-faire," "legislative carte blanche," "libertine conclusions," and "it must lead inevitably to comparisons with German concentration camps and research on designates for death" are out of place. Our words clearly imply that we also are concerned with "ethical guidelines for fetal experimentation." Guidelines covering all aspects of medical