Cogent thoughts from a member of what appears to be a vanishing breed--physicians not only trained and willing to perform abortions but also willing to talk about it.
Sloan (Gynecology/New York Medical College) is an obstetrician and gynecologist whose experience with abortions dates back to the 1960's, years he calls "the bad, old days.'' As a medical resident in Philadelphia, and thus a frequent witness to the havoc wreaked by botched abortions, he sought out extracurricular training from a skilled underground abortionist. Later, in NYC, Sloan became an activist in abortion reform, and when New York State gave women the right to choose in 1970, he helped establish the state's first abortion clinic. Little of Sloan's personal life is revealed here, but his thoughts on abortion are made crystal clear: Every patient has a right to an abortion, but legality isn't enough--abortion has to be practical, within financial reach, and safe. When Sloan asserts that the medical profession, hospitals, and especially governmental agencies treat abortion differently from other medical procedures, he is convincing. Indeed, because of the stigma still associated with abortion, he frequently uses pseudonyms when referring to medical colleagues (and always, of course, when discussing patients). Sloan's brief descriptions of the mechanics of abortion, though informative, seem purposely matter-of-fact; for him, the actual procedure is cut and dried. What he prefers to talk about is the emotional fallout for a woman deciding to have an abortion; each human drama is a new one, and, with the assistance of freelance writer Hartz, Sloan tells them all well.
Strong words in support of a woman's right to choose, as well as sharp criticism of government policies hampering the exercise of that right.