Professionally known as Belle Holmes, between 1905 and 1916 Benzecry led the Society’s efforts to rid New York City of unlicensed medical practitioners. In the words of one newspaper feature, Benzecry investigated “fortune tellers with wonderful charms, unguents, herb teas, and lucky pieces; prophets with direct messages to go a-healing from the blue empyrean itself; practitioners of strange cults, with names especially coined for the occasion; practitioners who are shielding their own irregular practices by the dishonored cloak of graduate physicians.”
In 1909, T. Wah Hing was indicted for feticide. At that time, forty-year-old Hing had been practicing traditional Chinese medicine for more than two decades in a home and office on J Street, between Seventh and Eighth in Sacramento, that he shared with his father, an immigrant from China who went by the same name. Chinese doctors practicing in the United States like T. Wah Hing terminated unwanted pregnancies for their patients when abortion was illegal and the American Medical Association (AMA) officially opposed its practice.