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December 10, 1982


JAMA. 1982;248(22):3023-3024. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330220065042

During the first semester of her freshman year at a liberal arts college in New York City, Allison got pregnant. Her boyfriend, who was the captain of a student rugby team, refused to see her until the pregnancy was terminated, but he reassured her that everything between them would be fine after the abortion. Allison's family took the same stance as her boyfriend, but their plan was not acceptable to Allison. Instead, she left school and moved in with her 76-year-oldr, Mrs Simpson, who lived alone in a ramshackle townhouse in south Baltimore.

Allison insisted on being d on being selfjob in the collections department of a building supply company. When Cassandra was born, Allison missed only two days of work. The grandmother did her best to cope with the baby during the day, but she was hard of hearing and she always seemed very tired. At night Allison cried