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October 1966

Psychiatric Sequelae of Abortion: Review of the Literature, 1935-1964

Author Affiliations

From the Jewish Hospital, St. Louis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(4):378-389. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730160042008

THERAPEUTIC abortion has become a subject of increasing concern for the psychiatrist in the United States. While the rate of therapeutic abortion has decreased over the last 30 years, there has been a marked increase in the relative proportion of psychiatric indications for therapeutic abortion.1

Since therapeutic abortion raises problems that directly involve religious, political, social, and philosophical values, it is not surprising that the literature takes on the quality of a debate. The purpose of this paper is to examine: (1) the research design, if any, of the reports; (2) the results; and (3) the conclusions drawn from the results. It is our belief that such an appraisal can be useful in planning future studies that will avoid the repetition of errors and direct efforts more fruitfully to elucidating unsolved problems. The primary interest of this review is therapeutic abortion but

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