Additional Information In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: While the middle class did not establish its national hegemony until after the Civil War, we can see in an early conflict over abortion and in an electoral scandal, the emergence of those sexual and gender values that would define the middle class.
Women of all different races, classes, and religions have been practicing abortion since before the colonial era in America. The laws pertaining to abortion have changed many times, adding and removing discrepancies and stipulations throughout many years, and still to this day.
The views of abortion in society during different time periods have also changed and adapted. In the article Dayton discusses a couple, Sarah Grosvenor and Amasa Sessions, that had a sexual relationship that led to pregnancy, and then abortion ina time when abortion was not illegal, but was not accepted completely by society.
The issue in the Grosvenor-Sessions case was that Grosvenor died after John Hallowell performed an abortion.
For Sessions and Hallowell both were viewed as guilty, but neither faced actual punishment for their involvement in the abortion. The fact that a young woman died due to an abortion began to raise questions and morality issues among the people of the small town in which it took place.
Ironically it was not so much that incident of the pregnancy, but the fact that they were not to be wed. Fornication seemed to be more extreme than the actual act of abortion. Had he resisted, he would most likely have been whipped or fined for the crime of fornication. Another issue that Dayton raises in the article is the difference of how female and male prosecutions differed for the same acts of fornication.“Gender and the Public/Private Distinction in the Eighteenth Century: Some Questions about Evidence and Analytic Procedure.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 29 () Brown, Kathleen M.
“ Brave New Worlds: Women’s and Gender History.”. Cornelia Hughes Dayton, “Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth- Century New England Village.” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3 rd Series, Vol. 48, No. 1. The law played a minor part in women’s decisions to have an abortion, however society, and gender played the most prominent role in the decision of abortion.
Cornelia Hughes Dayton, the author of the article “Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth-Century New England Village,” found in Women and Health in America. See Dayton, Cornelia Hughes, “ Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth-Century New England Village,” William and Mary Quarterly 48, no.
Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth-Century New England Village Author(s): Cornelia Hughes Dayton Source: The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol.
48, No. 1, (Jan., ), pp. Published by: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. teenth century.
Sexuality was central to the slave system, Reconstruction, and the politics of redemption that ultimately disenfranchised African American men. By law, an African American’s status as a free person or as a slave was determined by his or her mother, thereby implicating the sexuality of enslaved and free women in the slave system.