1937 August 4

Police Raids Force Closing of Massachusetts Birth Control Clinics


Because of a series of police raids, the Massachusetts Birth Control League decided to close all of its clinics in Worcester, New Bedford, Fitchburg, and Springfield. Police raids had already closed the clinics in Boston, Brookline, and Salem. The clinics would remain closed pending the outcome of current court cases.

Mrs. Leslie Hawkridge, president of the league, argued that the clinics’ operations were completely legal, and were waging an important battle against illegal abortions and bootlegged contraceptives.

In a current case. Dr. Ilia Galleani of Boston was arrested at the Brookline clinic and charged will illegally selling “drugs, medicines, and instruments intended to prevent conception.”

Learn more about the history of the struggle for birth control:  Linda Gordon, The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America, 3rd ed. (2007)

Read a biography of Margaret Sanger: Ellen Chesler, Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America (1992)

Visit the Planned Parenthood web site: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/

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