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Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy: Comprehensive Abortion Care
  1. Gillian Robinson
  1. Associate Specialist, Department of Sexual Health, Southwark Primary Care Trust, London, UK

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Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy: Comprehensive Abortion Care Maureen Paul, E Steve Lichtenberg, Lynn Borgatta, David A Grimes, Phillip G Stubblefield, Mitchell D Creinin (eds). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-1-4051–7696-5. Price: £89.99. Pages: 392 (hardback)

As the foreword says, no topic engenders more heated controversy in the USA than induced abortion. This is also true in the UK; and while we are unlikely to see UK gynaecologists ambushed as they enter clinics, abortion still attracts much debate.

Although this is a book about abortion care, it does not deal with all the issues related to management of an unintended pregnancy as there is no mention of continuing with an ongoing pregnancy either for oneself or adoption.

As a textbook it is excellent. There are sections on abortion in perspective, pre-procedure care, abortion methods and techniques, post-procedure care, management of abnormal pregnancies and abortion service delivery. The sections read well but are very much directed at a North American readership. This was especially noticeable in the chapter on informed consent.

In my view this is a reference book and perhaps not something one would sit and read from beginning to end. However, this should not detract from the fact that the book is the first I have come across that deals with the topic in such a comprehensive and scientific manner. The sections on methods and techniques and post-procedure care are well written and well referenced.

I was surprised to see the section on management of abnormal pregnancies since in the UK these are usually managed by obstetricians rather than by abortion providers. I am not certain that the chapter on abortion for fetal abnormality added much to the book since the techniques used are the same as for abortion in other circumstances. A chapter on parental response and their subsequent follow-up in terms of future pregnancies, and so on, would perhaps have been more relevant.

This is an excellent book, and although I would not recommend it for general reading, I do think all abortion providers should be familiar with its contents.