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January 28, 1983

Abortion Legislation-Reply

JAMA. 1983;249(4):472-473. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330280022012

In Reply.—  Dr Lauinger attempted several arguments to refute our opposition to proposed federal enactments designed to outlaw abortion. First, she argued that a majority of physicians would not be affected by this legislation. If Dr Lauinger opposes only legislation that would affect a "majority" of physicians, any procedure performed primarily by specialists would be in danger. Later, she maintained that 1.5 million abortions are performed yearly. Of course, all these procedures were performed by many physicians.Dr Lauinger argued that most abortions are performed for "social reasons." It is not clear what she means by this. If she means that most women's decisions to abort are frivolous, we simply disagree. What few data exist indicate that women who choose to abort find the decision difficult to make and that a substantial number change their minds at least once before reaching a clinic.1 What can be said with certainty