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State of Ohio Court Documents Regarding an Abortion Trial of Ann Porter, 1829 September

 File — Box: 36

Scope and Contents

Consists of six court documents related to the apprehension, arraignment, and imprisonment of Ann Porter, an Ohio woman accused and convicted of "murdering her infant child in her womb." At the time, abortion of pregnancy was legal under common law up until the point of "quickening" at which a pregnant person could feel the movements of the fetus. The documents include a manuscript warrant issued by Richard D. George, Justice of the Peace, commanding any constable of Urbana to apprehend Porter who "sometime in the month of March last was guilty of the crime of murder by killing a child with which she...was then pregnant or that she aided or assisted in the commission of said crime." There is also an affidavit signed by Andrew Kirkpatrick (relation unknown) who swears that Porter committed the act; recognizance slips for six witnesses; and a document containing George's summarization of the series of actions in the case, which included issue of the warrant, the apprehension of Porter by a constable, the subpoena of witnesses, Porter's not guilty plea, and his own judgement of Porter's guilt and sentencing of Porter to imprisonment "until legally dischanged by law."


  • Creation: 1829 September

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.


1 box

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English