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Arizona Television Host Who Took Thalidomide Seeks Abortion

July 31, 1962 - Mrs. Sherri Finkbine (pictured), host of the Arizona edition of the nationally syndicated television show “Romper Room,” is planning to leave Arizona for an abortion, but when and where she will go for the operation are being kept secret. Her husband, a teacher, said today, “We have decided to seek help in a more favorable legal climate.” The 30-year-old Mrs. Finkbine, the star of a children’s television program in Arizona called “Romper Room,” fears the birth of a malformed child because she took Thalidomide early in her two-and-a-half-month pregnancy. The drug is blamed for thousands of armless and legless babies born in Europe, Australia, and Canada. Mrs. Finkbine has four children. She was thwarted yesterday in an attempt to get legal approval for an abortion in Arizona. Arizona law permits an abortion only if the expectant mother’s life is in peril. Mrs. Finkbine obtained the thalidomide from her husband, who got it last summer while chaperoning a group of high school students through Europe. She learned of the danger of the pills only a few weeks ago, she said, when she read in a newspaper that thalidomide had been linked to the births of deformed babies.

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