Medicine1962; Abortion & the Law: Thalidomide

Abortion & the Law

A healthy and happily married Arizona woman, mother of four children, last week went to court to ask approval for an illegal act: getting an abortion. Her fifth child, she fears, might be hideously deformed as a result of her taking the sleeping pill thalidomide.

The drug, marketed in many countries under a variety of trade names, has already caused an estimated 5,000 babies to be born malformed in Germany and almost 1,000 in Britain: infants without limbs or with stubby, seal-like flippers or with internal defects such as displaced or missing organs. At least four cases of thalidomide...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!