Where are they Now? Pro-Abortion Sherri Finkbine

About the controversial figure Sherri Finkbine, biography and history of the woman who had a public abortion.


Headline--1962: SHERRI FINKBINE

At the Peak: It's one of those names from the past that rings a bell, but very faintly. Need a clue? Think back to the thalidomide scares of the early 1960s.

At the center of that tragic emotional storm was Sherri Finkbine, a pregnant TV children's program hostess in Arizona, who for several months had been taking a tranquilizer that her husband had obtained in Europe. Then the news broke that this drug, thalidomide, was responsible for terrible deformities in newborn babies.

The 30-year-old mother of four and her high-school-teacher husband decided she should have an abortion--a decision that provoked worldwide headlines, a condemnation on the Vatican radio, and thousands of critical, as well as a few threatening, letters. Still, Sherri was determined to go ahead. When U.S. medical authorities refused to approve the operation, she flew to Sweden, where the abortion was performed and doctors verified that the baby would indeed have been deformed. After that, the controversy gradually died. Sherri returned to the U.S. and faded from the public eye.

And Today: After losing her TV job, having two more children, and shedding her husband in a 1973 divorce, Sherri moved to La Jolla, Calif., where she worked in a women's center counseling people on abortion issues and other problems.

Mind you, though her name remains synonymous with abortion, she has no shortage of children. Now married to a La Jolla physician, she has at times had 12 children at home--6 from her first marriage plus her 6 stepchildren.

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