Books: A Case Celebre

THE BABY IN THE BOTTLE by William A. Nolen, M.D. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan; 253 pages; $8.95

In October 1973, Dr. Kenneth Edelin, then 35 and chief resident in the overworked, understaffed obstetrics service at Boston City Hospital, performed an abortion on a 17-year-old. The operation terminated the patient's pregnancy and, for the time being, her problems. Edelin's woes were just beginning. By spring of the following year, the doctor found himself under indictment, and in January 1975, he went on trial for manslaughter.

The case became an encapsulation of the nationwide abortion debate....

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