Abortion is justifiable in those cases where continuation of the pregnancy to full term would be associated with fatality to either mother or child, or to both; where the habitual death of the fœtus, in utero, has accompanied a great number of previous pregnancies; in multiple pregnancies, where the growth of two or more offspring in the womb would gravely threaten the mother's existence; in certain diseased conditions—abdominal dropsy, tumors, pernicious anaemia, predisposition to placental haemorrhage, chorea, nephritis—and those anatomical malformations of the bony pelvis which render parturition not only dangerous but, in many instances, impossible.

Stehberger and other obstetricians would add to this list cases where the mother's life is despaired of,1 but in which premature delivery may save the child's life; but whether deliberate abortion may be resorted to as a means of averting shame, on the part of the mother, or safeguarding her social character, and standing, is a question which belongs to morals rather than medicine, and concerning which the maternal instinct, as well as the intuitive perceptions of morality, may always be relied on to form a correct judgment.