National Library of Medicine

Digital Gallery


The NIH Division of Biologics Standards (DBS) licensed the rubella vaccine for use in June 1969. Explore this selection of items from the NLM Digital Collections to discover how scientists working at the DBS set policy, conducted research, and enforced standards to ensure the safety of vaccines.

A white man’s face

“Indications for a Therapeutic Abortion,” Richard D. Lamm (moderator), Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher and Dr. Frank J. Ayd (guests), produced by the U.S. Public Health Service, 1969

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

As part of its series “Concepts and controversies in modern medicine,” the United States Public Health Service hosted a conversation about therapeutic abortion. Dr. Guttmacher, an obstetrician and gynecologist, argued that abortion laws should be relaxed to ensure all women, not only wealthy women, can access reproductive health care, and that the criteria for therapeutic abortion should be expanded. Dr. Ayd, a psychiatrist, claimed that the fetus is a living being, and expressed concerned that the psychological aftermath of an abortion could be as serious as the mental state induced by an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy.