A women's psychiatric clinic, incorporated within a university teaching
general hospital and staffed entirely by women, was opened in March of
1980. The authors studied a sample of 100 women who came to the clinic and
characterized them by demographic variables, psychiatric diagnoses, health
problems, chronic illness, death in the family, and traumatic incidents.
Death in the family before she was 18 was found to predict a woman's
subsequent request for or completion of sterilization. Physical or sexual
abuse was significantly related to abortion, and abortion and trauma were