THE ABORTIONIST by Lucy X. Dr. & Freeman

THE ABORTIONIST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This account, which will probably be read for very different reasons, is intended not only as a defense of Dr. X and the humane intentions of what is a criminal practice, but also as a protest against the laws which prohibit the termination of a pregnancy, even in situations which may jeopardize a woman's life, morally, psychologically or physically. Morris Ernst, in his introduction, joins Dr. X in defending the doctor and the legality of abortion, and urging a liberalization of our social and legal attitudes. In his life story, which includes the case histories of many of his supplicant patients, Dr. X discusses many of the desperate and deserving women he helped, among them the mistress of a prominent judge before whom he was eventually to appear for trial and sentence (the judge gave him four years instead of the usual two). He also explains, explicitly, the surgical facts, and only infrequent complications, of this procedure- when performed carefully (although the statistics show that 5000 a year die in the hands of less qualified practitioners). On one occasion charging $10,000, often charging nothing, Dr. X averaged about 27 abortions a day until his arrest and sentence which made him a ""crippled shadow of a man"". On his release, he was eventually persuaded to resume his practice, but he also sought psychiatric help to try and reconcile the feelings of guilt he continued to have although objectively he considers that he functions as a public servant. He may find sympathetic as well as curious readers, although certain religious groups will find his premise and practice indefensible.

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 1961
Publisher: Doubleday