The Scandal that Led to the First U.S. Law Governing Abortion Rogers, Ammi [1770-1852]. Memoirs of the Rev. Ammi Rogers, A.M. A Clergyman of the Episcopal Church, Educated at Yale College in Connecticut, Ordained in Trinity Church in the City of New-York,- Persecuted in the State of Connecticut, On Account of Religion and Politics, For Almost Twenty Years- And Finally, Falsely Accused and Imprisoned in Norwich Gaol for Two Years, On the Charge of Crimes Said to have been Committed with a Young Woman in the Town of Griswold, In the County of New-London, When He was Not Within About One Hundred Miles of Her: And of Which He was Absolutely as Innocent as the Judge who Pronounced the Sentence, Or as Either of the Jury who Declared Him Guilty, Or as Any Other Person in the World. [Connecticut?]: Published for Subscribers, By the Author, 1824. 264 pp. Octavo (7" x 4"). Contemporary quarter sheep over marbled boards, gilt fillets to spine. Worn, rubbing to boards, marbled paper mostly abraded, a few faint stains to front board, rubbing and light wear to extremities, chipping to spine ends, corners bumped. Moderate toning and light foxing to interior, several cracks to text block, several signatures loosening slightly but secure, light soiling in a few places. $500. * First edition. Ammi Rogers was an itinerant dissenting preacher in a relationship with a young woman named Asaneth Smith. When she told him she was pregnant, he feared damage to his reputation and refused to marry her unless she allowed him to help her have an abortion. He gave her poison, which was ineffective, used a tool to disrupt the pregnancy, and left her before the procedure was complete. Her family called a doctor, who delivered a stillborn child. Word of Rogers's involvement in the stillbirth spread and he was brought to trial in 1820. At the time, abortion was not criminalized in the United States and he could only be charged with sexual assault; he was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. After the trial, the Connecticut legislature outlawed administering poison with the intent to cause an abortion, though they did not criminalize abortions performed with medical instruments. This was the first law governing abortion in the United States. Published after his release from prison, Rogers's memoirs are a lengthy protestation of his innocence and a.
Book number 75610