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August 6, 1938


JAMA. 1938;111(6):535. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790320047018

Abortion is still a major medical problem. Some estimates of the number of abortions each year in this country reach 681,600 and the number of deaths resulting from abortions is said to be 8,179. Physicians of this country are now receiving pamphlets from the Merz and Company Chemical Works, Inc., Newark, N. J., encouraging them to perform therapeutic abortions by injection into the uterus of Leunbach's paste. These pamphlets have stimulated a storm of protest among physicians.

The injection of paste into the uterus for the production of abortion is not a new procedure but it has never been accepted as safe or scientific. The method cannot do much more than to initiate contractions in the uterus, leaving the final cleansing to be done by other means. While Leunbach is said to have found it necessary to curette only twelve patients of 150 in whom he had used his Provokol