Clinical Research Bureau

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A brick building in New York City.
The Clinical Research Bureau operated from this New York building from 1930 to 1973.

The Clinical Research Bureau was the first permanent birth control clinic in the United States. It was created in 1923 as a result of the birth control movement, which fought against anti-contraception laws. Several years after a 1918 New York appeals court ruling which permitted physicians to prescribe contraceptives, Margaret Sanger decided to open a second birth control clinic, this time staffed with physicians to make it legal under the court ruling (Sanger's first clinic employed nurses, and was shut down by police soon after opening).[1] The second clinic, called the Clinical Research Bureau (CRB), opened on January 2, 1923.[2] To avoid police harassment, the clinic was not publicized, and it operated under the pretense of conducting scientific research.[3] The existence of the clinic was finally announced to the public in December 1923, but this time there were no arrests or controversy, convincing the activists that, after ten years of progress, birth control had finally become widely accepted in America.[4]

The CRB was the first legal birth control clinic in the United States, and quickly grew into the leading contraceptive research center in the world.[5] In 1928, the CRB was renamed to Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau.[6]


  1. ^ Engelman, p 137.
  2. ^ Engelman, p 138.
  3. ^ Engelman, p 138. To further minimize the risk of police action, the clinic only provided services to married women.
  4. ^ Engelman, p 139.
  5. ^ Engelman, p 139.
  6. ^ Engelman, p 159


  • Engelman, Peter C. (2011). A History of the Birth Control Movement in America, ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-36509-6.