NL 2004/02

Splint of wood from Uganda, Doris Lessing ‚In pursuit of the English’ (1960), Viennese Foundling Hospital





Dear friend of our projected museum,

In case you were already anxious to hear our latest developments – here they are:


The most frightening object we have collected so far is a splint of wood, 3,5 inches long and 0,1 inch wide. Using this tool a 20years old woman in Uganda tried to initiate a miscarriage. She was admitted to a hospitall having a progressed purulent inflammation of her uterus – but fortunately still alive. Many others do not reach a hospital in time. Abortion ist legally prohibited in Uganda and many other countries and a lot of women do not have access to safe contraception methods.



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Look into our own past:

Read in Doris Lessing’s ‚In pursuit of the English’, London, 1960:


„Next day Mr Skeffington went on a business trip and we never saw him again. One morning I heard a crash outside my door. Mrs Skeffington had thrown herself down one flight of stairs, was on the point of flinging herself down a second. 'Leave me alone,' she muttered, and before I could stop her, she launched herself into space again. On the landing below she picked herself up, slowly, slowly, gasping and pale. 'That ought to shift it,' she said, with an attempt at a smile, and dragged herself, breathing heavily, up the stairs to Rosemary.“


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And not so many years before:

A very good water colour showing the Viennese Foundling Hospital (Wiener Gebär- und Findelhaus) in Alserstraße opposite of Vienna’s General Hospital in the 18.th and 19.th centuries is on sale at Dr. Sternat’s Gallery. It was painted by the Austrian artist Pippich. Unfortunately we cannot afford buying it but recommend it to our readers hoping to receive a good colour copy from them...

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The construction work for the projected museum for contraception and abortion will start very soon. As always we are happy to receive any objects: movies, posters, leaflets, books, documents, statistics; devices and instruments for contraception, for pregnancy-testing and for abortion. from previous & present, here & elsewhere.