Medicine: Birth Control Raid

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A patrol wagon growled up West 18th Street, Manhattan, last week and stopped back of St. Francis Xavier's parochial school. Pupils crowded to the windows and watched patrolmen enter the semi-basement of No. 46, a brownstone house. Soon appeared a dozen agitated women. Some carried infants. Then six more women with strained, angry faces walked out of the door. Policemen with wastepaper baskets full of surgical instruments, rubber devices and index cards in their arms, herded the six women into the patrol wagon. The wagon smelled horribly. The women sat down on its benches. Policemen posted themselves on guard. The wagons growled away, angrily jeered by the women on the sidewalk. Thus was the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau (TIME, March 18) raided last week. A policewoman, one Josephine McNamara, mother of two grown children, had reported that the clinic was giving out demoralizing information and advice.

She had secured her evidence by pretending, under a false name, to be the mother of three small children, the wife of a drunkard, a woman whose health was endangered by too frequent childbearing. Clinic doctors had examined her and decided her state needed the protection of contraceptives. The doctors were Hannah M. Stone and Elizabeth Pissoort. It was they who were arrested last week, together with their three nurses.

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