|A Private Matter|
|Written by||William Nicholson|
|Directed by||Joan Micklin Silver|
|Starring|| Sissy Spacek |
William H. Macy
|Theme music composer||James Newton Howard|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Ronnie D. Clemmer|
|Producer(s)||David C. Thomas|
A Private Matter is a 1992 American made-for-television drama film based on the true 1962 story of Sherri Finkbine, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona in the first trimester of her fifth pregnancy. She was the popular hostess of the locally produced children's television show Romper Room .
She was taking the drug thalidomide—a drug that was, at one time, commonly given to pregnant women in order to alleviate morning sickness and other uncomfortable symptoms associated with pregnancy. In the early 1960s, it became known that the use of thalidomide while pregnant caused significant deformities to the fetus. Sherri expressed concerns about the well-being of her own baby, and consulted with her physician who scheduled a legal, therapeutic abortion at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix.
Abortion was illegal in Arizona in the 1960s, but exceptions were made if the mother’s life was at risk, and under this exception, abortions were performed in hospitals regularly. The Finkbines scheduled an abortion, but when Sherri’s story was picked up by the media it created a media firestorm. An acquaintance who worked for the Arizona Republic had asked Sherri, on a promise of anonymity, to share her story. Sherri agreed, hoping that by doing so she could warn other women about the dangers of thalidomide. Her identity was exposed, however, and her private decision was soon subjected to public scrutiny. The film shows the harassment the family went through as they went through various appeals as they sought to obtain abortion services.
The hospital refused the use of their facilities for an abortion so Finkbine filed a lawsuit to compel the use of Good Samaritan Hospital. A public and bitter struggle ensued, culminating with Finkbine terminating her pregnancy in Sweden.
The movie premiered on HBO on June 20, 1992.It was noted at the time of the movie's release that U.S. network television had shied away from stories dealing with abortion.
Thalidomide, sold under the brand name Thalomid among others, is a medication used to treat a number of cancers including multiple myeloma, graft-versus-host disease, and a number of skin conditions including complications of leprosy. While it has been used in a number of HIV associated conditions, such use is associated with increased levels of the virus. It is taken by mouth.
Abortion in Ireland is regulated by the Health Act 2018. Abortion is permitted during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, and later in cases where the pregnant woman's life or health is at risk, or in the cases of a fatal foetal abnormality. Abortion services commenced on 1 January 2019 following its legalisation by the aforementioned Act, which became law on 20 December 2018. This law followed a constitutional amendment approved by a referendum in May 2018. This replaced the Eighth Amendment – which had given the life of the unborn foetus the same value as that of its mother – with a clause permitting the Oireachtas (parliament) to legislate for the termination of pregnancies. The constitutional amendment was signed into law on 18 September 2018.
Abortion is legal throughout the United States and its territories, although restrictions and accessibility vary from state to state. Abortion is a controversial and divisive issue in the society, culture and politics of the U.S., and various anti-abortion laws have been in force in each state since at least 1900. The Republican Party has generally sought to restrict abortion access or criminalize abortion, whereas the Democratic Party has generally defended access to abortion.
Abortion in Australia is largely regulated by the states and territories rather than the Federal Government. The grounds on which abortion is permitted in Australia vary by jurisdiction. In every state, abortion is legal to protect the life and health of a woman. As of October 2019, all states and territories but South Australia have fully decriminalised abortion, starting with Western Australia in 1998.
Grünenthal is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Aachen in Germany. The company was founded in 1946 as Chemie Grünenthal and has been continuously family-owned. The company was the first to introduce penicillin into the German market in the postwar period, after the Allied Control Council lifted its ban.
William Griffith McBride CBE AO was an Australian obstetrician. He discovered the teratogenicity of thalidomide, which resulted in the reduction of the number of drugs prescribed during pregnancy. McBride was found guilty of separate counts of medical malpractice and scientific fraud
Frances Kathleen Oldham Kelsey, CM was a Canadian-born American pharmacologist and physician. As a reviewer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), she refused to authorize thalidomide for market because she had concerns about the lack of evidence regarding the drug's safety. Her concerns proved to be justified when it was shown that thalidomide caused serious birth defects. Kelsey's career intersected with the passage of laws strengthening FDA oversight of pharmaceuticals. Kelsey was the second woman to be awarded the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President John F. Kennedy.
Sherri Chessen is an American former children's television host. She is known also as Miss Sherri, her role on the Phoenix version of the franchised children's show Romper Room. In 1962, Chessen became a subject of controversy when she sought an abortion after discovering that the thalidomide she had been taking caused serious fetal deformities when used in early stages of pregnancy.
Abortion in El Salvador is illegal. The law formerly permitted an abortion to be performed under some limited circumstances, but, in 1998, all exceptions were removed when a new abortion law went into effect.
Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, United States, operated by Dignity Health. St. Joseph's is a 607-bed, not-for-profit hospital that provides a wide range of health, social and support services, with special advocacy for the poor and underserved. It is home to the Barrow Neurological Institute, the world's largest dedicated neurosurgical center and a renowned leader in neurosurgical training, research, and patient care.
Faye Wattleton is an American abortion rights activist who was the first African American and the youngest president ever elected of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the first woman since Margaret Sanger to hold the position. She is best known for her contributions to family planning and reproductive health, as well as the pro-choice movement.
Abortion in India is legal in certain circumstances. It can be performed on various grounds until 20 weeks of pregnancy. In exceptional cases, a court may allow a termination after 24 weeks.
Thomas James Olmsted is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the fourth and current Bishop of Phoenix. He was Bishop of Wichita from 2001 to 2003.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the use of thalidomide in pregnant women in 46 countries resulted in the "biggest man‐made medical disaster ever," with over 10,000 children born with a range of severe deformities, such as phocomelia, and thousands of miscarriages.
The excommunication of Margaret McBride occurred with the sanctioning by the American religious sister in November 2009 of an abortion at a Roman Catholic hospital in Phoenix. It was lifted in December 2011. Her decision and her subsequent excommunication aroused controversy in the areas of medical ethics and Catholic theology.
Sheila Hodgers was an Irish woman from Dundalk, County Louth, who died of multiple cancers two days after giving birth to her third child. She was denied treatments for her cancer while pregnant because the Catholic ethos of the hospital did not wish to harm the foetus. Her case was publicised in an article in The Irish Times the week before a September 1983 referendum which enshrined the right to life of the foetus in the Constitution of Ireland. The case has been recounted in subsequent pro-choice commentary on abortion in the Republic of Ireland.
Abortion is a controversial topic in Nigeria. Abortion in Nigeria as defined by Mogaji et al is governed by two laws that differ depending on geographical location. Northern Nigeria is governed by The Penal Code and southern Nigeria is governed by The Criminal Code. The only legal way to have an abortion in Nigeria is if having the child is going to put the mother's life in danger. However, sex-selective abortion has long had acceptance in Nigeria.
Abortion in Egypt is prohibited by Articles 260–264 of the Penal Code of 1937. However, under Article 61 of the Penal Code, exceptions may be granted in cases of necessity, which has typically been interpreted to permit an abortion necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. In some cases, this exception has been extended to cases where the pregnancy poses dangers to the pregnant woman's health, and to cases of foetal impairment. A physician can only perform an abortion in such cases when two specialists approve, unless the woman's life is in imminent danger.
Abortion in Ghana is legally permissible in Ghana. The abortion should also be conducted only at a Government hospital; registered private hospital, clinics registered under the Private Hospitals and Maternity Homes Act, 1958 and a place approved by the Minister of Health by a Legislative Instrument. Illegal Abortions are criminal offenses subject to at most five years in prison for the pregnant woman who induced said abortion, as well as for any doctor or other person who assisted this pregnant woman in accessing, or carrying out, an abortion. Attempts to cause abortions are also criminal, as are the purveyance, supply, or procurement of chemicals and instruments whose intent is to induce abortions.
Abortion in Arizona is legal. 49% of adults said in a poll by the Pew Research Center that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. By 1950, abortion was a criminal offense in Arizona for women to solicit or have. By 2007, the state required mandatory ultrasounds before women could have an abortion. Abortion became illegal in Arizona in April 2012 after week 20. Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) existed by 2013. Republican Representative Michelle Udall in Arizona's House with 20 other co-sponsors to provide $2.5 million annually for a period of three years to anti-abortion women's reproductive clinics as part of efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.