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Ten CBS Affiliates Refuse to Carry Abortion-Themed Episode of "The Defenders"

Apr. 26, 1962 - CBS, which will televise a drama about abortion tomorrow night, announced today that 10 of its affiliated stations had refused to carry the program. The list includes stations in Boston, Providence, Buffalo, Rochester, New Orleans, and Milwaukee. The episode, called “The Benefactor,” is part of the CBS weekly series, “The Defenders,” starring E.G. Marshall (pictured). The episode depicts a physician who is on trial for having performed illegal abortions. During his trial, he advocates legalizing abortion as a benefit to society. WHDH-TV, the Boston station that refused to carry the program, announced that it had no policy of avoiding controversial subjects, but the dramatic treatment of abortion “would be shocking to many viewers.” The station said it could not condone a fictional drama that, under the guise of entertainment, created sympathy for criminal conduct condemned by the laws of all states and the Federal Government.

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