Yale University has conducted a large-scale study of the symbolic representations and modes of behaviour of peoples throughout the world, a study that includes the subject of abortion. It constitutes the basis of some of the other texts to which we will refer, such as G.Devereux’s study of abortion in traditional cultures (Devereux 1976), and the essay by F.Saba Sardi to which I referred above (Sardi 1977). These works provide the framework for the brief exposition that follows.