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A Glimpse Into Abortion's Past

Dateline: 2/26/00

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(Continuing the "interview" with Planned Parenthood Medical Director Dr. Mary Calderone)*

Dr. Timanus, who presented his findings at the conference, certainly seemed to be very competent and professional. His illegal abortion practice, if it was typical, would explain why the mortality numbers were so much lower than I'd been told they were. But there are also so many stories about women with horrible injuries dying or being brought to the emergency room.

The conference data from Scandinavia were interesting. A surprising number of women went through a lot of trouble to request a legal abortion, and even convinced the agency that an abortion really was in their best interests, then changed their minds and decided to give birth. This is in addition to the women who applied for abortions but changed their minds before the agency came to a decision in their cases.

Readers might reflect on Dr. Gladston's words during the conference: "I do not consider it to be the responsibility or the obligation of the Planned Parenthood Federation, or of a body such as is represented here, primarily... to strive for the legalization and the facilitation of abortion. I do rather think that initially it is our social and scientific obligation to search for ways and means whereby the need for abortion is reduced to the absolute minimum and then to help legalize and facilitate abortion for that requisite minimum."

Well, folks, there are other patrons waiting to use the microfilm machine, so we'll have to say goodbye to Dr. Calderone for now. To learn more about the conference she and I were discussing, you can visit:

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*Dr. Calderone's "answers," although edited to fit the Q&A format, are otherwise verbatim from "Illegal Abortion as a Public Health Problem," published in the July, 1960 issue of the American Journal of Public Health (v. 50 no. 7), pages 948 - 954. If you want a copy to read for yourself, contact the reference desk of your local public or university library, and the librarian can assist you in getting it from microfilm or through Interlibrary Loan.

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Related Links at RealChoice:

1950 - 1970: The Transitional Period
A timeline of interesting abortion-related events from the period when the US underwent a paradigm shift regarding abortion.

Abortion Practice Before Legalization
Who were the pre-legalization abortionists? How did they operate?

PPFA Abortion Conference, 1955
A quiet conference by Planned Parenthood Federation of America yields some fascinating information

What California Found
An in-depth maternal mortality study shows how absurd abortion advocates' claims of 5,000 - 10,000 abortion deaths per year are.

What Minnesota Found
An in-depth maternal mortality study shows how absurd abortion advocates' claims are.

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