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.
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.