IN NECESSITY AND SORROW: Life and Death in an Abortion Hospital by Magda Denes

IN NECESSITY AND SORROW: Life and Death in an Abortion Hospital

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A mother of two, voluntary ex-mother of a potential third, and working psychologist followed up her own experience--a civilized abortion--with a period spent observing ""Life and Death in an Abortion Hospital."" There she made a telling use of her cassette tuned into the doctors, technicians, nurses, assorted personnel, young girls and older women, parents, boyfriends in a large commercial facility where, from handling 4500 assorted patients a day, they converted to 22,000--98% abortions. The D & Cs for early pregnancies are relatively easy; the Salines a trickier, physically ""messy,"" procedure with a messenger removing the fetuses in containers, like Kentucky Fried Chicken, to another hospital to be burned. The author airs just about every consideration in this ""bastardized"" business which brings gratification to no one involved; always there is evasion, precarious accountability, guilt (""Sometimes I feel like it is murder""), and grief without end. In a more urgently emotional after-word, Denes questions whether any ""human life on earth is superfluous except by pretense."" This is the first book written under all too live circumstances, exposing the conditions and acknowledging the ""necessity"" without avoiding the sophistry or sentimental dishonesty entailed. It has an emotional extension you can't dismiss with ""It only hurts for a little while.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1976
Publisher: Basic Books