Document 38: Resume of the Meeting Held at 515 Madison Avenue, American Birth Control Office, 28 May 1935, 2 pp., Box 123, Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.
This document contains the minutes of the joint meeting of the Clinical Research Bureau, the New York Urban League, and the American Birth Control League (ABCL) to finalize arrangements for the transfer of the Harlem clinic to ABCL auspices. Called to California on a family emergency, Sanger could not attend this meeting and sent her trusted associate, Hazel Zborowski, who had worked with the Harlem Clinic and the Advisory Council throughout 1934 in her capacity as the CRB business manager. This report of the meeting records competing explanations for the transfer. Allison Pierce Moore of the ABCL suggested that Sanger was enthusiastic about transferring the clinic because it had been a financial drain. Hazel Zborowski responded that her understanding was that the ABCL approached Sanger after it received funding for a free clinic in Harlem and offered to assume responsibility of the branch clinic. Zborowski pointed out that Sanger agreed to the transfer because the new clinic would provide free services in a community where cost seemed to be the biggest hurdle for clients. See Document 39 for Sanger's account of the events leading to the transfer.
Although the new clinic would have fewer hours of operation, it would be free to all clients. Those who could pay for birth control services would be referred to physicians, including Drs. May Chinn and Harold Ellis, so that local doctors would not see the clinic as a rival. The New York City Committee, a local affiliate of the ABCL, would manage the clinic as part of its emerging network of small charitable birth control clinics in settlement houses and related social agencies in New York City. These centers, which the committee began to open in 1930, were not independent clinical services; they merely added contraceptive care for several hours a week to each agency's existing health care services. Individual agencies donated the space and the New York Committee provided the nursing staff and supplies.
May 29, 1935.
RESUME OF MEETING HELD AT 515 MADISON AVENUE
AMERICAN BIRTH CONTROL OFFICE
May 28, 1935.
American Birth Control League — Mrs. Nash
Mrs. Louis B. de Moore
New York Urban League — Dr. Chinn
Clinical Research Bureau — Mrs. Zborowski
This meeting was for the purpose of discussing with the representatives of the Urban League the question of transferring the Harlem Clinic at 202 West 136
thStreet, New York City, to the jurisdiction of the American Birth Control League.
Mr. Hubert representing the Urban League stated that his Board had accepted the plan of the A.B.C.L. which is to have a free clinic for the under-privileged although payments of ten cents or more will be accepted. That is the policy of the A.B.C.L. in all of its clinics. All patients able to pay the doctor's fee will be referred to Dr. Ellis according to the understanding with Dr. Ellis at a previous meeting in Harlem on (no minutes were kept of the above meeting as it was strictly informal according to Mrs. Moore)
The Urban League is willing to donate space and altering part of the main floor is under consideration. There will be only two sessions, probably one afternoon and one evening, but the days have not been definitely set. Mr. Hubert wished to have it understood that there was to be no discrimination between white and colored patients. Mrs. Nash asked me to consult with Mrs. Riddick to ascertain if she were willing to take the two sessions as she is already familiar with the work and the locality.
Mrs. Moore stated that Mrs. Sanger offered the Harlem Clinic to the League because it was such an expense. I stated to Mrs. Moore that it was my understanding that due to the fact they had a fund which could carry on the work in Harlem, that Mrs. Sanger was willing to cooperate with the League to the extent of releasing the Clinic to them providing it cater to free patients. Mrs. Moore replied that Mrs. Sanger was very much more eager to give over the Clinic. Mrs. Moore also stated that it was the policy of the A.B.C.L. to accept no patients able to pay a doctor's fee as they worked with the doctors and did not feel they had a right to enter into competition.
The tentative date for the transfer of the clinic is June 15
th, but I am to be advised this morning if the necessary alterations in the Urban League can be made by that time.
Mrs. Moore stated that the present Advisory Council of the Harlem Clinic would be invited to be on the new Board. Dr. Matsner would be added and Dr. Stone expressed a wish to also be on the Board. I suggested that Mrs. Sanger, being Honorary President, of the New York State, would automatically be a member. Mrs. Moore agreed.
The meeting adjourned at 4 P.M.
A. Mrs. Cromwell was chair of the New York City Committee of the ABCL.
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