Who Remembers Sherri Finkbein?

thalidomide bottle

Back in 1962…

For those of you to young to remember: The BBC Reported:

“1962: Abortion mother returns home

An American mother-of-four is on her way home amid a storm of controversy after being given a legal abortion in Sweden.

Sherri Finkbine, a TV presenter from Phoenix in Arizona, was denied an abortion in her home state following intense negative publicity surrounding her case.

The 30-year-old mother decided to terminate her fifth pregnancy after discovering that tranquilizers she had taken in the first few weeks of her pregnancy contained the drug Thalidomide.

In recent months there has been increasing evidence suggesting Thalidomide causes severe fetal deformities including missing limbs, deafness and blindness.

Public condemnation

Mrs Finkbine, host of children’s television programme “Romper Room”, told her story to the local newspaper, believing it would alert other mothers in the same situation to the dangers of the drug.

But she became the focus of an intense anti-abortion campaign and worldwide public condemnation.

The negative publicity led her local hospital in Phoenix to withdraw a tentative offer of a legal abortion for fear they may be held criminally liable – the current law in Arizona states that abortion can only be carried out to save the mother’s life.

Mrs Finkbine and her husband, Robert, a school teacher, took the case to the Arizona State Supreme Court but were unsuccessful.

Despite vilification from anti-abortionists across the United States and the world she flew to Sweden where the operation was carried out.

After the operation it was confirmed that the fetus had no legs and only one arm .

When she returned to Phoenix Mrs Finkbine’s local doctor asked her to register with another physician.

She was dismissed from her job, and her husband was suspended from his high school teaching post.

Their children were hounded, anonymous death threats poured in by post and telephone and the press swarmed around their home”

I remember Sherry and I will continue to support choice.

Lest we forget.



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Who Remembers Sherri Finkbein?

  1. carolahand says:

    Toritto, thank you for an important reminder about the hard-won rights of women and families to choose wisely, and the costs for those who helped fight for “pro-choice” policies that are now undergoing serious attacks. It is ironic that those who claim to be “pro-life” advocate for policies that deny the supports that children need to realize their full potential and view the death penalty as a moral solution..

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      Carolahand – Many thanks for reading and commenting. Choice is under serious attack and we should not forget what it took to win a woman’s right to control her body. Regards.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember Sherry, though I was only 14 at the time. I had a number of acquaintances who had to go overseas for abortions prior to 1973 – either to Britain or Sweden.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Pro-Life or Pro-Birth? | toritto

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.