Some Lessons from the United States Experience with Legal Abortion

  • P. G. Stubblefield


A decision of the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal throughout the U.S.A. in 1973 (Roe v. Wade, 1973). Prior to this time, only a few states, most notably New York, allowed legal abortion with few restrictions. In most states, legal abortions were limited to those women who could convince panels of physicians that their physical or mental illness was severe. In consequence, many illegal abortions were still performed (Legge, 1985).


Abortion Service Legal Abortion Uterine Atony Uterine Perforation Trimester Abortion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altman, A., Stubble field, P. G., Schlam, J. F., et al. Midtrimester abortion with laminaria and vacuum evacuation on a teaching service. J. Reprod. Med. 30:601, 1985.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Burnhill, M. S., Armstead, J. W. Reducing the morbidity of vacuum aspiration abortion. Int. J. Gynecol. & Obstet. 16:204, 1978.Google Scholar
  3. Grimes, D. A., Schulz, K. F., Cates, W. Jr., et al. Midtrimester abortion by dilatation and evacuation: A safe and practical alternative. Int. J. Gynecol. & Obstet. 296:1141, 1977.Google Scholar
  4. Grimes, D. A., Cates, W. Jr., Selik, R. M. Abortion facilities and the risk of death. Fam. Plan. Perspectives 13:30, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Grimes, D. A., Shulz, K. F., Cates, W. Jr. Prevention of uterine perforation during curettage abortion. JAMA 251:2108, 1984.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hern, W. M. Abortion Practice. J. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1984.Google Scholar
  7. Hodgson, J. E., Major, B., Portman, K., et al. Prophylactic use of tetracycline for first trimester abortion. Obstet. Gynecol. 45:574, 1975.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hogue, C. J. R., Cates, W. Jr., Tietze, C. The effects of induced abortion on subsequent reproduction. Epid. Review 4:66, 1982.Google Scholar
  9. Karman, H., Potts, M. Very early abortion using the syringe as vacuum source. Lancet 1:7759, 1972.Google Scholar
  10. Lauersen, N. H., Birnbaum, S. Laparoscopy as a diagnostic and therapeutic technique in uterine perforation during first trimester abortion. Amer. J. Obstet. Gynec. 117:522, 1973.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Legge, J. S. Abortion Policy: An Evaluation of the Consequences for Maternal and Infant Health. State University of New York Press, Albany, 1985.Google Scholar
  12. Peterson, H. B., Grimes, D. A., Cates, W. Jr., et al. Comparative risk of death from induced abortion at 12 weeks or less gestation performed with local versus general anesthesia. Amer. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 141:763, 1981.Google Scholar
  13. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 1973.Google Scholar
  14. Sands, R. X., Burnhill, M. S., Hakin-Elahin, F. Postabortal uterine atony. Obstet. Gynecol. 43:595, 1974.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Shulz, K. F., Grimes, D. A., Park, T., et al. Prophylactic antibiotics to prevent febrile complications of curettage abortion. Paper presented at the 8th annual meeting of the National Abortion Federation, Los Angeles, California, May 15th, 1984.Google Scholar
  16. Stubblefield, P. G. Current technology for abortion. Curr. Prob. Obstet. Gynecol. 2:1, 1978.Google Scholar
  17. Stubblefield, P. G. Midtrimester abortion for curettage procedures: An overview. In J. E. Hodgson, ed., Abortion and Sterilization: Medical and Social Aspects, p. 277, Academic Press, London, Grune and Stratton, New York, 1981.Google Scholar
  18. Stubblefield, P. G., Monson, R. R., Schoenbaum, S. C., et al. Fertility after induced abortion: A prospective follow-up study. Obstet. Gynecol. 63:186, 1984.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Tietze, C., Lewit, S. Joint program for the study of abortion (JPSA): Early medical complications for legal abortion. Stud. Fam. Plan. 3:96, 1972.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. G. Stubblefield
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Mount Auburn HospitalCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.The Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations