Paintings

“Mary Jo”

The original photograph taken in my studio:

Edited for scale and converted to black and white:


The first document I used was the Public Statute Laws of the State of Connecticut from 1821, Title 20, Crimes and Punishments:

The public statute laws of the state on Connecticut as revised and enacted by the general assembly in may 21 1821 with the acts of the three subsequent sessions incorporated

Title 20 Crimes and punishments

Administering poison with intent to murder or cause miscarriage

Sec 14 every person who shall willfully and maliciously administer to or cause to be administered to or taken by any person or persons any deadly poison or other noxious and destructive substance with an intention him her or them thereby to murder or thereby to cause or procure the miscarriage of any woman then being quick with child and shall be thereof duly convicted shall suffer imprisonment in Newgate prison during his natural life of for such other term as the court having cognizance of the offence shall determine

Sec 15 if any woman shall conceal her pregnancy and shall willingly be delivered in secret by herself of any issue of her body male or female which shall by law be a bastard every such woman so offending being thereof duly convicted before the superior or county court shall pay a fine not exceeding the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars or be imprisoned not exceeding three months at the discretion of the court having cognizance of the offence

Sec 16 if any woman shall endeavor privately either by herself or the procurement of others to conceal  the death of any such issue of her body which if it were born alive would by law be a bastard so that it may not come to light whether it were born live or not or whether it were murdered or not every such woman so offending being thereof duly convicted before the superior or county court shall be set on a gallows with a rope around her neck for the space of one hour and be further punished by being bound to her good behavior and imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year at the discretion of the court having cognizance of the offence.


The second document was The Comstock Act of 1873:

Comstock Act 1873

Every obscene, lewd, or lascivious, and every filthy book, pamphlet, picture, paper, letter, writing, print, or other publication of an indecent character, and every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for preventing conception or producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral use; and every article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing which is advertised or described in a manner calculated to lead another to use or apply it for preventing conception or producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral purpose and every written or printed card, letter, circular, book, pamphlet advertisement, or notice of any kind giving information directly or indirectly, where, or how, or of whom, or by what means any of the hereinbefore-mentioned matters, articles or things may be obtained or made, or where or by whom any act or operation of any kind for the procuring or producing of abortion will be done or performed or how or by what means conception may be prevented or abortion may be produced, whether sealed or unsealed; and every letter, packet, or package, or other mail matter containing any filthy, vile, or indecent thing, device or substance and every paper, writing, advertisement or representation that any article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing may, or can be, used or applied, for preventing conception or producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral purpose; and every description calculated to induce or incite a person to so use or apply any such article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing, is hereby declared to be a non-mailable matter and shall not be conveyed in the mails or delivered from any post office or by any letter carrier. Whoever shall knowingly deposit or cause to be deposited for mailing or delivery, anything declared by this section to be non-mailable, or shall knowingly take, or cause the same to be taken, from the mails for the purpose of circulating or disposing thereof, or of aiding in the circulation or disposition thereof, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Be it enacted…. That whoever, within the District of Columbia or any of the Territories of the United States… shall sell… or shall offer to sell, or to lend, or to give away, or in any manner to exhibit, or shall otherwise publish or offer to publish in any manner, or shall have in his possession, for any such purpose or purposes, an obscene book, pamphlet, paper, writing, advertisement, circular, print, picture, drawing or other representation, figure, or image on or of paper or other material, or any cast instrument, or other article of an immoral nature, or any drug or medicine, or any article whatever, for the prevention of conception, or for causing unlawful abortion, or shall advertise the same for sale, or shall write or print, or cause to be written or printed, any card, circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement, or notice of any kind, stating when, where, how, or of whom, or by what means, any of the articles in this section…can be purchased or obtained, or shall manufacture, draw, or print, or in any wise make any of such articles, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof in any court of the United States… he shall be imprisoned at hard labor in the penitentiary for not less than six months nor more than five years for each offense, or fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars, with costs of court.

A history of abortion rights in the United States:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States