Sir Dugald Baird sketches the history of abortion legislation in Great Britain from the beginning of the century. In his views the 1967 Abortion Act has been one of the most important and beneficial pieces of social legislation enacted in Britain in the last 100 years. It has, however, brought problems both of administration in the hospitals and to individual doctors and nurses, particularly when the patients are young single women and even schoolgirls. One of the consequences of the Abortion Act has been a fall in maternal mortality and perinatal mortality rates. Abortion does not seem to be followed by serious emotional sequelae. Nevertheless recent changes in sexual mores have introduced new and serious social problems which are discussed in relation to the role of the doctor in his relationship with patients seeking abortion.
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