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Illegitimate Pregnancies in State Institutions

Clifton M. Wignall; Charles E. Meredith, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(5):580-583. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740050068011.
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THE PREVENTION of illegitimate pregnancy in the resident population of state institutions is but one of many human concerns of the administrators of state mental hospitals and schools for the mentally retarded. While the rate of incidence of illegitimate pregnancy in institutionalized population is lower than in the population at large, there is an absolute sense in which each illegitimate pregnancy in an institutionalized patient is a tragedy. The general public is keenly aware of this, and will loudly condemn the institutional administrator who does not keep illegitimate pregnancies in his institution at a minimum. Failure to do so can threaten a total program.

Illegitimate pregnancies figured heavily in a 1962 report of a Pueblo County Grand Jury investigation of the Colorado State Hospital. While the number of illegitimate pregnancies for which the hospital might be thought indirectly responsible was small,


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