Pharmacology: The Chemistry of Abortion

Amy, 36, a happily married mother of a four-year-old boy, was stunned last year to learn she was again pregnant. She and her husband--who had relied on the rhythm method and condoms for birth control--had been renovating their home outside Seattle, using a number of caustic chemicals. "I thought about the chemicals I had been exposed to and I thought about our very busy lives," Amy says. "I know what I can handle, and our lives were not settled enough or prepared enough for another child." She decided, with her husband's support, to have an abortion.

Under normal circumstances, Amy...

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