Medicine: Unofficial Abortion

Science-fiction writers, stymied by the laws of physics, turn to such literary devices as time warps to make interstellar travel possible. Now women, physicians and population-control advocates, dismayed by most states' strictures against abortion, have developed a procedure that offers a similar semantic solution. In a growing number of clinics and doctors' offices, a technique called "menstrual extraction" is being used to terminate suspected pregnancies before conception has been confirmed. Therefore an abortion in fact is not an abortion officially.

Menstrual extraction is essentially a vacuum-aspiration method in which the fertilized egg,...

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