When a Millionaire Married a Teen And Sparked Opposition to U.S. Child Marriage

When a Millionaire Married a Teen And Sparked Opposition to U.S. Child Marriage

Last month, Delaware became the first state in the Union to ban child marriage. In all other states, legal exceptions allow minors—mostly girls, some as young as 12—to marry even if the state’s official minimum age is 18. Between 2000 and 2010, there were nearly 250,000 child marriages in the U.S., according to the nonprofit Unchained at Last.

Marriages between a girl under 18 and an adult man weren’t unusual in the early United States. In an era when most people didn’t know their exact birth date in the first place, most states went by British common law, which allowed girls to marry at 12 and boys at 14. But as perceptions of marriage and childhood shifted in the early 20th century, some Americans began to view marriages between teens and adults as strange or inappropriate. One turning point came in 1926 when a famous 51-year-old multimillionaire married a 15-year-old high school student.

New York real estate titan Edward Browning had already had a couple of public scandals by the time he met teenage Frances Belle Heenan. Newspapers had covered his divorce in 1923, when his first wife ran off to Europe with her married dentist. Edward and his first wife divorced in France and divided their two adopted children between them. But the bigger media scandal came afterward, when Edward took out newspaper ads saying he wanted to adopt a 14-year-old girl.

“This looks strange and fishy in the first place,” says Nicholas L. Syrett, a professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas and author of American Child Bride: A History of Minors and Marriage in the United States. Edward claimed he only wanted a teen girl so his other adopted child could have a companion. Understandably, rumors circulated that that wasn’t the real reason.

“He ended up trying to adopt a girl who claimed to be 16,” Syrett says. “It then turned out she was actually 21 … The adoption fell apart because she was too old and because he had tried to pay the adoptive daughter’s parent—which was illegal in New York.”

Edward’s subsequent relationship with the 15-year-old Francis seemed to confirm suspicions around Edward. He met her at a high school dance for a sorority that she was pledging and he, creepily enough, was sponsoring. They only dated for a couple of months before marrying, and their wedding made the front page of the New York Times. Afterward, the media continued to report on the married life of Francis and Edward, referring to them as “Peaches” and “Daddy,” their pet names for each other.

Fifty years before, the Brownings’ marriage probably wouldn’t have been a big news story. Yet by the 1920s, shifting ideas about marriage and childhood had changed how people thought about unions between underage girls and adult men. For more than a century, Americans’ perception of marriage had been changing from a union that two people enter out of economic necessity to a more “complimentary” one that they enter because they’re in love. At the same time, Americans began to think of children as a class of people who needed special protections, like child labor laws, because they were different from adults.

In this context, a loving, fulfilling marriage between a child and an adult seemed strange at best, abusive at worse. The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children tried to prevent the Brownings’ marriage by arguing that Edward and Francis’ mother were exploiting the 15 year old. Yet for many, the marriage wasn’t so much inappropriate as it was an amusing sideshow.

“They were among the most celebrated tabloid sensations of the 1920s,” Syrett says. “I think there were clearly people who thought that this was a problem and that he was going to try to take advantage of her, but there were also large numbers of people who saw her as a golddigger.”

Over the next several decades, news reports of child marriages began to draw more public outrage than the Brownings’ had. In 1937, news that a 22-year-old man in Tennessee had married a 9-year-old girl drew the kind of “How could this happen in America?” reactions that modern stories about child marriage do today. In 1958, the American music industry distanced itself from hit singer Jerry Lee Lewis when the public learned that the 22-year-old had married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown. Still, the scandal didn’t completely kill Lewis’ career, just as R. Kelly’s marriage to 15-year-old Aaliyah when he was 27 hasn’t ended his.

Until the mid-20th century, it was still fairly easy to get married illegally by faking parental consent, faking your age, or just driving to another state where the laws were different. During the 1950s, states tightened up the general age minimums and documentation needed for marriages, while at the same time adding legal exceptions that allowed teenage mothers of the baby boom to marry. “Pregnancy” and “parental consent” are two of the main exceptions that allow minors to marry in the U.S. In some states, there is no specified minimum age that these exceptions can apply to.

Multiple state legislatures and governors have rejected bills to set a hard minimum at 18. With Delaware’s precedent, activists hope that other states will become more receptive to banning child marriage completely.

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith (born Vickie Lynn Hogan November 28, 1967 – February 8, 2007) was an American model, actress, and television personality. Smith first gained popularity in Playboy magazine when she won the title of 1993 Playmate of the Year. She modeled for fashion companies, including Guess, H&M, Heatherette and Lane Bryant.

Smith dropped out of high school at age 14 in 1982, married in 1985, and divorced in 1993. In 1994, her highly publicized second marriage to 89-year-old billionaire J. Howard Marshall resulted in speculation that she married him for his money, which she denied. Following Marshall's death in 1995, Smith began a lengthy legal battle over a share of his estate. Her cases reached the Supreme Court of the United States: Marshall v. Marshall on a question of federal jurisdiction and Stern v. Marshall on a question of bankruptcy court authority.

Smith died in February 2007 in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room as a result of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. In the months leading up to her death, Smith was the focus of renewed press coverage surrounding the death of her son, Daniel, and the paternity and custody battle over her newborn daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead.


Many early converts to the religion including Brigham Young, [10] Orson Pratt, and Lyman Johnson, recorded that Joseph Smith was teaching plural marriage privately as early as 1831 or 1832. Pratt reported that Smith told some early members in 1831 and 1832 that plural marriage was a true principle, but that the time to practice it had not yet come. [11] Johnson also claimed to have heard the doctrine from Smith in 1831. [12] Mosiah Hancock reported that his father was taught about plural marriage in the spring of 1832. [13]

The 1835 and 1844 versions of the church's Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) prohibited polygamy and declared that monogamy was the only acceptable form of marriage:

In as much as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife and one woman, but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. [14]

William Clayton, Smith's scribe, recorded early polygamous marriages in 1843: "On the 1st day of May, 1843, I officiated in the office of an Elder by marrying Lucy Walker to the Prophet Joseph Smith, at his own residence. During this period the Prophet Joseph took several other wives. Amongst the number I well remember Eliza Partridge, Emily Partridge, Sarah Ann Whitney, Helen Kimball and Flora Woodworth. These all, he acknowledged to me, were his lawful, wedded wives, according to the celestial order. His wife Emma was cognizant of the fact of some, if not all, of these being his wives, and she generally treated them very kindly." [15]

As early as 1832, Mormon missionaries worked successfully to convert followers in Maine of polygamist religious leader Jacob Cochran, who went into hiding in 1830 to escape imprisonment due to his practice of polygamy. Among Cochran's marital innovations was "spiritual wifery," and "tradition assumes that he received frequent consignments of spiritual consorts, and that such were invariably the most robust and attractive women in the community." [16] The majority of what became the Quorum of the Twelve in 1835 attended Mormon conferences held in the center of the Cochranites in 1834 and 1835. [17] [18] [19] [20] Brigham Young, an apostle of the church, became acquainted with Cochran's followers as he made several missionary journeys through the Cochranite territory from Boston to Saco, [21] and later married Augusta Adams Cobb, a former Cochranite. [22] [23]

Joseph Smith publicly condemned polygamy, denied his involvement in it, and participants were excommunicated, as church records and publications reflect. [24] [25] But church leaders nevertheless began practicing polygamy in the 1840s, particularly members of the Quorum of the Twelve. [26] Sidney Rigdon, while he was estranged from the church, wrote a letter in backlash to the Messenger and Advocate in 1844 condemning the church's Quorum of the Twelve and their alleged connection to polygamy:

It is a fact so well known that the Twelve and their adherents have endeavored to carry on this spiritual wife business . and have gone to the most shameful and desperate lengths to keep from the public. First, insulting innocent females, and when they resented the insult, these monsters in human shape would assail their characters by lying, and perjuries, with a multitude of desperate men to help them effect the ruin of those whom they insulted, and all this to enable them to keep these corrupt practices from the world. [27]

At the time, the practice was kept secret from non-members and most church members. Throughout his life, Smith publicly denied having multiple wives. [28]

However, John C. Bennett, a recent convert to the church and the first mayor of Nauvoo, used ideas of eternal and plural marriage to justify acts of seduction, adultery and, in some cases, the practice of abortion in the guise of "spiritual wifery." Bennett was called to account by Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and was excommunicated from the church. [29] In April 1844, Joseph Smith referred to polygamy as "John C. Bennett's spiritual wife system" and warned "if any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the book of Doctrine and Covenants, set him down as an imposter." Smith mused

we cannot but express our surprise that any elder or priest who has been in Nauvoo, and has had an opportunity of hearing the principles of truth advanced, should for one moment give credence to the idea that any thing like iniquity is practised, much less taught or sanctioned, by the authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. [30]

The practice was publicly announced in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, in 1852, some five years after the Mormons arrived in Utah, and eight years after Smith's death. The doctrine authorizing plural marriage was canonized and published in the 1876 version of the LDS Church's Doctrine and Covenants. [31]

Teachings on the multiple wives of God and Jesus Edit

Top leaders used the examples of the polygamy of God the Father and Jesus Christ in defense of it and these teachings on God and Jesus' polygamy were widely accepted among Mormons by the late 1850s. [32] [33] In 1853, Jedediah M. Grant – who later become a First Presidency member – stated that the top reason behind the persecution of Christ and his disciples was due to their practice of polygamy. [34] [32] Two months later, apostle Orson Pratt taught in a church periodical that "We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives," and that after her death, Mary (the mother of Jesus) may have become another eternal polygamous wife of God. [35] [36] He also stated that Christ had multiple wives as further evidence in defense of polygamy. [37] [32] In the next two years the apostle Orson Hyde also stated during two general conference addresses that Jesus practiced polygamy [38] [39] [32] and repeated this in an 1857 address. [40] [41] This teaching was alluded to by church president Brigham Young in 1870 and First Presidency member Joseph F. Smith in 1883. [42] [43]

Joseph Smith Edit

The 1843 polygamy revelation, published posthumously, counseled Smith's wife Emma to accept all of Smith's plural wives, and warns of destruction if the new covenant is not observed. [44] Emma Smith was publicly and privately opposed to the practice and Joseph may have married some women without Emma knowing beforehand. [45] Emma publicly denied that her husband had ever preached or practiced polygamy, [46] which later became a defining difference between the LDS Church under Brigham Young and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church now known as the Community of Christ), led by Joseph Smith III. Emma Smith remained affiliated with the RLDS Church until her death at the age of 74. Emma Smith claimed that the very first time she ever became aware of the 1843 polygamy revelation was when she read about it in Orson Pratt's publication The Seer in 1853. [47]

There is a subtle difference between "sealing" (which is a Mormon priesthood ordinance that binds individuals together in the eternities), and "marriage" (a social tradition in which the man and woman agree to be husband and wife in this life). In the early days of Mormonism, common practices and doctrines were not yet well-defined. Even among those who accept the views of conventional historians, there is disagreement as to the precise number of wives Smith had: Fawn M. Brodie lists 48, [48] D. Michael Quinn 46, [49] and George D. Smith 38. [50] The discrepancy is created by the lack of documents to support the alleged marriages to some of the named wives.

A number of Smith's "marriages" occurred after his death, with the wife being sealed to Smith via a proxy who stood in for him. [51] One historian, Todd M. Compton, documented at least 33 plural marriages or sealings during Smith's lifetime. [52] Richard Lloyd Anderson and Scott H. Faulring came up with a list of 29 wives of Joseph Smith. [53]

It is unclear how many of the wives Smith had sexual relations with. Many contemporary accounts from Smith's time indicate that he engaged in sexual relations with several of his wives. [52] [54] As of 2007 [update] , there are at least twelve early Latter Day Saints who, based on historical documents and circumstantial evidence, have been identified as potential Smith offspring stemming from plural marriages. In 2005 and 2007 studies, a geneticist with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation stated that they had shown "with 99.9 percent accuracy" that five of these individuals were in fact not Smith descendants: Mosiah Hancock (son of Clarissa Reed Hancock), Oliver Buell (son of Prescindia Huntington Buell), Moroni Llewellyn Pratt (son of Mary Ann Frost Pratt), Zebulon Jacobs (son of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith), and Orrison Smith (son of Fanny Alger). [55] The remaining seven have yet to be conclusively tested, including Josephine Lyon, for whom current DNA testing using mitochondrial DNA cannot provide conclusive evidence either way. Lyon's mother, Sylvia Sessions Lyon, left her daughter a deathbed affidavit telling her she was Smith's daughter. [55]

Other early church leaders Edit

LDS Church president Brigham Young had 51 wives, and 56 children by 16 of those wives.

LDS Church apostle Heber C. Kimball had 43 wives, and had 65 children by 17 of those wives.

Mormon polygamy was one of the leading moral issues of the 19th Century in the United States, perhaps second only to slavery in importance. Spurred by popular indignation, the U.S. government took a number of steps against polygamy these were of varying effectiveness. [56] [57]

1857–58 Utah War Edit

As the LDS Church settled in what became the Utah Territory, it eventually was subjected to the power and opinion of the United States. Friction first began to show in the James Buchanan administration and federal troops arrived (see Utah War). Buchanan, anticipating Mormon opposition to a newly appointed territorial governor to replace Brigham Young, dispatched 2,500 federal troops to Utah to seat the new governor, thus setting in motion a series of misunderstandings in which the Mormons felt threatened. [58]

1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act Edit

For the most part, the rest of the United States considered plural marriage offensive. On July 8, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act into law, which forbade the practice in U.S. territories. Lincoln made a statement that he had no intentions of enforcing it if the LDS Church would not interfere with him, and so the matter was laid to rest for a time. But rhetoric continued, and polygamy became an impediment to Utah being admitted as a state. Brigham Young preached in 1866 that if Utah will not be admitted to the Union until it abandons polygamy, "we shall never be admitted." [59]

After the Civil War, immigrants to Utah who were not members of the church continued the contest for political power. They were frustrated by the consolidation of the members. Forming the Liberal Party, non-Mormons began pushing for political changes and sought to weaken the church's dominance in the territory. In September 1871, Young was indicted for adultery due to his plural marriages. On January 6, 1879, the Supreme Court upheld the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act in Reynolds v. United States.

1882 Edmunds Act Edit

In February 1882, George Q. Cannon, a prominent leader in the church, was denied a non-voting seat in the U.S. House of Representatives due to his polygamous relations. This revived the issue of polygamy in national politics. One month later, the Edmunds Act was passed by Congress, amending the Morrill Act and made polygamy a felony punishable by a $500 fine and five years in prison. "Unlawful cohabitation," in which the prosecution did not need to prove that a marriage ceremony had taken place (only that a couple had lived together), was a misdemeanor punishable by a $300 fine and six months imprisonment. [3] It also revoked the right of polygamists to vote or hold office and allowed them to be punished without due process. Even if people did not practice polygamy, they would have their rights revoked if they confessed a belief in it. In August, Rudger Clawson was imprisoned for continuing to cohabit with wives that he married before the 1862 Morrill Act.

1887 Edmunds–Tucker Act Edit

In 1887, the Edmunds–Tucker Act allowed the disincorporation of the LDS Church and the seizure of church property it also further extended the punishments of the Edmunds Act. In July of the same year, the U.S. Attorney General filed suit to seize all church assets.

The church was losing control of the territorial government, and many members and leaders were being actively pursued as fugitives. Without being able to appear publicly, the leadership was left to navigate "underground."

Following the passage of the Edmunds–Tucker Act, the church found it difficult to operate as a viable institution. After visiting priesthood leaders in many settlements, church president Wilford Woodruff left for San Francisco on September 3, 1890, to meet with prominent businessmen and politicians. He returned to Salt Lake City on September 21, determined to obtain divine confirmation to pursue a course that seemed to be agonizingly more and more clear. As he explained to church members a year later, the choice was between, on the one hand, continuing to practice plural marriage and thereby losing the temples, "stopping all the ordinances therein," and, on the other, ceasing plural marriage in order to continue performing the essential ordinances for the living and the dead. Woodruff hastened to add that he had acted only as the Lord directed:

I should have let all the temples go out of our hands I should have gone to prison myself, and let every other man go there, had not the God of heaven commanded me to do what I do and when the hour came that I was commanded to do that, it was all clear to me. [60]

The final element in Woodruff's revelatory experience came on the evening of September 23, 1890. The following morning, he reported to some of the general authorities that he had struggled throughout the night with the Lord regarding the path that should be pursued. The result was a 510-word handwritten manuscript which stated his intentions to comply with the law and denied that the church continued to solemnize or condone plural marriages. The document was later edited by George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency and others to its present 356 words. On October 6, 1890, it was presented to the Latter-day Saints at the General Conference and unanimously approved.

While many church leaders in 1890 regarded the Manifesto as inspired, there were differences among them about its scope and permanence. Contemporary opinions include the contention that the manifesto was more related to an effort to achieve statehood for the Utah territory. [61] Some leaders were reluctant to terminate a long-standing practice that was regarded as divinely mandated. As a result, over 200 plural marriages were performed between 1890 and 1904. [62]

1904 Second Manifesto Edit

It was not until 1904, under the leadership of church president Joseph F. Smith, that the church completely banned new plural marriages worldwide. [63] Not surprisingly, rumors persisted of marriages performed after the 1890 Manifesto, and beginning in January 1904, testimony given in the Smoot hearings made it clear that plural marriage had not been completely extinguished.

The ambiguity was ended in the General Conference of April 1904, when Smith issued the "Second Manifesto," an emphatic declaration that prohibited plural marriage and proclaimed that offenders would be subject to church discipline. It declared that any who participated in additional plural marriages, and those officiating, would be excommunicated from the church. Those disagreeing with the Second Manifesto included apostles Matthias F. Cowley and John W. Taylor, who both resigned from the Quorum of the Twelve. Cowley retained his membership in the church, but Taylor was later excommunicated.

Although the Second Manifesto ended the official practice of new plural marriages, existing plural marriages were not automatically dissolved. Many Mormons, including prominent church leaders, maintained existing plural marriages into the 1940s and 1950s. [64]

In 1943, the First Presidency learned that apostle Richard R. Lyman was cohabitating with a woman other than his legal wife. As it turned out, in 1925 Lyman had begun a relationship which he defined as a polygamous marriage. Unable to trust anyone else to officiate, Lyman and the woman exchanged vows secretly. By 1943, both were in their seventies. Lyman was excommunicated on November 12, 1943. The Quorum of the Twelve provided the newspapers with a one-sentence announcement, stating that the ground for excommunication was violation of the law of chastity.

Over time, many of those who rejected the LDS Church's relinquishment of plural marriage formed small, close-knit communities in areas of the Rocky Mountains. These groups continue to practice "the Principle." In the 1940s, LDS Church apostle Mark E. Petersen coined the term "Mormon fundamentalist" to describe such people. [66] Fundamentalists either practice as individuals, as families, or as part of organized denominations. Today, the LDS Church objects to the use of the term "Mormon fundamentalists" and suggests using the term "polygamist sects" to avoid confusion about whether the main body of Mormon believers teach or practice polygamy. [67]

Mormon fundamentalists believe that plural marriage is a requirement for exaltation and entry into the highest level of the celestial kingdom. These beliefs stem from statements by 19th-century Mormon authorities including Brigham Young (although some of these leaders gave possibly conflicting statements that a monogamist may obtain at least a lower degree of "exaltation" through mere belief in polygamy). [68]

For public relations reasons, the LDS Church has sought vigorously to disassociate itself from Mormon fundamentalists and the practice of plural marriage. [69] Although the LDS Church has requested that journalists not refer to Mormon fundamentalists using the term "Mormon," [70] journalists generally have not complied, and "Mormon fundamentalist" has become standard terminology. Mormon fundamentalists themselves embrace the term "Mormon" and share a religious heritage and beliefs with the LDS Church, including canonization of the Book of Mormon and a claim that Joseph Smith is the founder of their religion.

Although the LDS Church has abandoned the practice of plural marriage, it has not abandoned the underlying doctrines of polygamy. According to the church's sacred texts and pronouncements by its leaders and theologians, the church leaves open the possibility that it may one day re-institute the practice. It is still the practice of monogamous Mormon couples to be sealed to one another. However, in some circumstances, men and women may be sealed to multiple spouses. Most commonly, a man may be sealed to multiple wives: if his first wife dies, he may be sealed to a second wife. A deceased woman may also be sealed to multiple men, but only through vicarious sealing if they are also deceased. [71]

Reasons for polygamy Edit

As early as the publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830, Latter Day Saint doctrine maintained that polygamy was allowable only if it was commanded by God. The Book of Jacob condemned polygamy as adultery, [72] but left open the proviso that "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people otherwise, they shall hearken unto these things." [73] Thus, the LDS Church today teaches that plural marriage can only be practiced when specifically authorized by God. According to this view, the 1890 Manifesto and Second Manifesto rescinded God's prior authorization given to Joseph Smith.

However, Bruce R. McConkie controversially stated in his 1958 book, Mormon Doctrine, that God will "obviously" re-institute the practice of polygamy after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. [74] [75] This echoes earlier teachings by Brigham Young that the primary purpose of polygamy was to bring about the Millennium. [76] Current official church materials do not make any mention of the future re-institution of plural marriage.

Multiple sealings when a prior spouse has died Edit

In the case where a man's first wife dies, and the man remarries, and both of the marriages involve a sealing, LDS authorities teach that in the afterlife, the man will enter a polygamous relationship with both wives. [77] Current apostles Russell M. Nelson and Dallin H. Oaks are examples of such a case. [78]

Under LDS Church policy, a man whose sealed wife has died does not have to request any permission beyond having a current temple recommend and an interview with his bishop to get final permission for a living ordinance, to be married in the temple and sealed to another woman, unless the new wife's circumstance requires a cancellation of sealing. However, a woman whose sealed husband has died is still bound by the original sealing and must request a cancellation of sealing to be sealed to another man (see next paragraph for exception to this after she dies). In some cases, women in this situation who wish to remarry choose to be married to subsequent husbands in the temple "for time only," and are not sealed to them, leaving them sealed to their first husband for eternity.

As of 1998, however, women who have died may be sealed to more than one man. In 1998, the LDS Church created a new policy that a woman may also be sealed to more than one man. A woman, however, may not be sealed to more than one man while she is alive. She may only be sealed to subsequent partners after both she and her husband(s) have died. [79] Thus, if a widow who was sealed to her first husband remarries, she may be sealed by proxy to all of her subsequent husband(s), but only after both she and the subsequent husbands have died. Proxy sealings, like proxy baptisms, are merely offered to the person in the afterlife, indicating that the purpose is to allow the woman to choose the right man to be sealed to. [ citation needed ]

In the twenty-first century, church leadership has taught that doctrinal knowledge about the nature of family relations in the afterlife is limited and there is no official church teaching on how multiple marriages in life play out in the afterlife beyond trust in God that such matters will work out happily. [80]

Multiple sealings when marriages end in divorce Edit

A man who is sealed to a woman but later divorced must apply for a "sealing clearance" from the First Presidency in order to be sealed to another woman. Receiving clearance does not void or invalidate the first sealing. A woman in the same circumstances would apply to the First Presidency for a "cancellation of sealing" (sometimes called a "temple divorce"), allowing her to be sealed to another man. This approval voids the original sealing as far as the woman is concerned. Divorced women who have not applied for a sealing cancellation are considered sealed to the original husband. However, it is generally believed that even in the afterlife the marriage relationship is voluntary, so no person could be forced into an eternal relationship through temple sealing that they do not wish to be in. Divorced women may also be granted a cancellation of sealing, even though they do not intend to marry someone else. In this case, they are no longer regarded as being sealed to anyone and are presumed to have the same eternal status as unwed women.

Proxy sealings where both spouses have died Edit

According to church policy, after a man has died, he may be sealed by proxy to all of the women to whom he was legally married while he was alive. The same is true for women however, if a woman was sealed to a man while she was alive, all of her husbands must be deceased before she can be sealed by proxy to them. [79] [81]

Church doctrine is not entirely specific on the status of men or women who are sealed by proxy to multiple spouses. There are at least two possibilities:

  1. Regardless of how many people a man or woman is sealed to by proxy, they will only remain with one of them in the afterlife, and that the remaining spouses, who might still merit the full benefits of exaltation that come from being sealed, would then marry another person in order to ensure each has an eternal marriage.
  2. These sealings create effective plural marriages that will continue after death. There are no church teachings clarifying whether polyandrous relationships can exist in the afterlife, so some church members doubt whether this possibility would apply to women who are sealed by proxy to multiple spouses. The possibility for women to be sealed to multiple men is a recent policy change enacted in 1998. Church leaders have neither explained this change, nor its doctrinal implications.

Instances of unhappy plural marriage Edit

Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that plural marriages produced unhappiness in some wives. [82] LDS historian Todd Compton, in his book In Sacred Loneliness, described various instances where some wives in polygamous marriages were unhappy with polygamy. [52]

A means for male sexual gratification Edit

Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that church leaders established the practice of polygamy in order to further their immoral desires for sexual gratification with multiple sexual partners. [83] Critics point to the fact that church leaders practiced polygamy in secret from 1833 to 1852, despite a written church doctrine (Doctrine and Covenants 101, 1835 edition) renouncing polygamy and stating that only monogamous marriages were permitted. [84] Critics also cite several first-person accounts of early church leaders attempting to use the polygamy doctrine to enter into illicit relationships with women. [85] [86] Critics also assert that Joseph Smith instituted polygamy in order to cover up an 1835 adulterous affair with a neighbor's daughter, Fanny Alger, by taking Alger as his second wife. [87] Compton dates this marriage to March or April 1833, well before Joseph was accused of an affair. [88] However, historian Lawrence Foster dismisses the marriage of Alger to Joseph Smith as "debatable supposition" rather than "established fact." [89]

Others conclude that many Latter-day Saints entered into plural marriage based on the belief that it was a religious commandment, rather than as an excuse for sexual license. For instance, many of the figures who came to be best associated with plural marriage, including church president Brigham Young and his counselor Heber C. Kimball, expressed revulsion at the system when it was first introduced to them. Young famously stated that after receiving the commandment to practice plural marriage in Nauvoo, he saw a funeral procession walking down the street and he wished he could exchange places with the corpse. He recalled that "I was not desirous of shrinking from any duty, nor of failing in the least to do as I was commanded, but it was the first time in my life that I had desired the grave, and I could hardly get over it for a long time." [90] When Kimball first heard of the principle, he believed that he would marry elderly women whom he would care for and who would not be a threat to his first wife Vilate. He was later shocked to learn that he was to marry a younger woman. [91] His biographer writes that he "became sick in body, but his mental wretchedness was too great to allow of his retiring, and he would walk the floor till nearly morning, and sometimes the agony of his mind was so terrible that he would wring his hands and weep like a child." [91] While his wife Vilate had trials "grievous to bear" as a result of her acceptance of plural marriage, she supported her husband in his religious duties, and taught her children that "she could not doubt the plural order of marriage was of God, for the Lord had revealed it to her in answer to prayer." [92]

Underage plural marriages Edit

Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that church leaders sometimes used polygamy to take advantage of young girls for immoral purposes. [93] Historian George D. Smith studied 153 men who took plural wives in the early years of the Latter Day Saint movement, and found that two of the girls were thirteen years old, 13 girls were fourteen years old, 21 were fifteen years old, and 53 were sixteen years old. [94] Historian Todd Compton documented that Joseph Smith married girls of age 13 or 14. [52] Historian Stanly Hirshon documented cases of girls aged 10 and 11 being married to old men. [95]

However, it seems that Brigham Young attempted to stamp out the practice of men being sealed to excessively young girls. In 1857, he stated, "I shall not seal the people as I have done. Old Father Alread brought three young girls 12 & 13 years old. I would not seal them to him. They would not be equally yoked together . . Many get their endowments who are not worthy and this is the way that devils are made." [96]

Increase in bachelorhood Edit

As the type of polygamy practiced is primarily polygyny, critics of the early LDS Church argue that polygamy may have caused a shortage of brides in the early LDS community, [102] citing quotes by church leader Heber C. Kimball who is purported to have said (addressing departing missionaries):

Brethren, I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettiest women for themselves before they get here, and bringing on the ugly ones for us hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake. [103]

On another occasion, he said "You are sent out as shepherds to gather sheep together and remember that they are not your sheep . do not make selections before they are brought home and put into the fold." [104]

The first quote above is not attested in any Mormon source, but first appeared in a derisive article in the New York Times on May 15, 1860. [105] FairMormon, an LDS apologetics organization, considers the "prettiest women" statement to be apocryphal, but that it may be a paraphrase of Kimball's Journal of Discourses statement, which is authentic. [106]

In the paragraph immediately following the above quote, Kimball said:

The principle of plurality of wives never will be done away. Some sisters have had revelations that when this time passes away and they go through the veil every woman will have a husband to herself. I wish more of our young men would take to themselves wives of the daughters of Zion and not wait for us old men to take them all go-ahead upon the right principle young gentlemen and God bless you forever and ever and make you fruitful, that we may fill the mountains and then the earth with righteous inhabitants.

The precise number who participated in plural marriage is not known, but studies indicate a maximum of 20 to 25 percent of Latter-day Saint adults were members of polygamist households. One third of the women of marriageable age and nearly all of the church leadership were involved in the practice. [107]

Instances of coercion Edit

Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church have documented several cases where deception and coercion were used to induce marriage, [108] for example citing the case of Joseph Smith who warned some potential spouses of eternal damnation if they did not consent to be his wife. [52] In 1893, married LDS Church member John D. Miles traveled to England and proposed to Caroline Owens, assuring her that he was not polygamous. She returned to Utah and participated in a wedding, only to find out after the ceremony that Miles was already married. She ran away, but Miles hunted her down and raped her. She eventually escaped, and filed a lawsuit against Miles that reached the Supreme Court and became a significant case in polygamy case law. [109] Ann Eliza Young, nineteenth wife of Brigham Young, claimed that Young coerced her to marry him by threatening financial ruin of her brother. [110]

Incestuous plural marriages Edit

Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that polygamy was used to justify marriage of close relatives that would otherwise be considered immoral. [102] [111] In 1843, Joseph Smith's diary records the sealing of John Milton Bernhisel to his sister, Maria, in a ceremony that included the sealing of Bernhisel to multiple relatives, some of whom were deceased. [112] However, this is understood by most scholars as the collective sealing or binding of the family and not a marriage between Bernhisel and his sister. Similar family sealings are practiced in Latter-Day Saint temples today, where children of parents who were not sealed at the time of their marriage are sealed to their parents and to one another in a group ceremony. [ citation needed ]

U.S. Abortion History

Page Summary:

For those who support abortion, there is a tendency to argue that it has always been widely practiced and broadly accepted. Those who oppose abortion, however, generally argue that its permissive and widespread use is a recent phenomena. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

Anyone who is honestly interested in the history of abortion in the United States, and is willing to put in the time to get it, need look no further than Marvin Olasky's Abortion Rites. It is thorough, honest, meticulously well-researched, and will defy the over-simplified history that people on both sides of the debate often give it.

For those who support legal abortion, there is a tendency to argue that abortion has always been widely practiced and broadly accepted in America. Those who oppose abortion generally argue that the permissive and widespread use of abortion is a recent phenomena. The research of Mr. Olasky puts the truth somewhere in between. On the one hand, abortion has been used with alarming frequency for much of the nation's history. On the other hand, though abortion has long been popular on the fringes of society, it was not until recently that it began to enjoy anything like "mainstream" support. The research provided in Abortion Rites is the foundation for the brief survey of abortion history below. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes come from Mr. Olasky's book.

Prior to the 1800's, most states practiced some variation of English Common Law which generally lacked explicit codification. Add to this the fact that solid statistics about abortion and/or unwed pregnancy simply do not exist for the time period, and you begin to see why it is so difficult to compile an accurate history of abortion in early America. Individual accounts, from journals, periodicals or court records, are all we can rely on for acquiring the anecdotal evidence necessary to make some conclusions.

The first known conviction for the "intention to abort" was handed down in Maryland in the year 1652. 1 Four years later another Maryland man was arrested for murdering an unborn child after beating his pregnant servant and giving her wormword to drink. The case, however, was thrown out when he married the servant to prevent her from testifying. 2 A 1710 Virginia law made it a capital crime to conceal a pregnancy and then be found with a dead baby. 3 Likewise, a 1719 Delaware law made anyone who counseled abortion or infanticide an accessory to murder. 4 Olasky notes that at this point in history, "infanticide was probably the most frequent way of killing unwanted, illegitimate children." 5 "Abortifacients were known and used in early America," but using them "was like playing Russian roulette with three bullets in the chambers." 6

While individual state laws were varied and didn't always have specific legislation for abortion and/or infanticide, those that did all shared a common problem. It was almost impossible to produce the evidence necessary to convict. Pregnancy was hard to confirm, there was almost never a corpse or witness, and there was always a great deal of jury sympathy for desperate and abandoned women. Nevertheless, there were plenty of non-legislative factors working against the widespread use of abortion and infanticide. One of the chief of these factors was the existing social pressure that expected a man to "act honorably" and propose marriage if he impregnated a woman out of wedlock. "In one Massachusetts county during the 1760's, over 80 percent of non-maritally conceived births were legitimated by the marriage of their parents, and counties in other colonies had similar records. Where fathers resolutely refused marriage, courts in Virginia and other colonies ordered payment. Thus economic desperation was unlikely to drive most unmarried, pregnant women to infanticide or abortion." 7

Adding to the influence of society in general was a religious community that uniformly condemned abortion, both for the way the Bible speaks of unborn children and for the testimony of well-known church pillars, the likes of John Calvin, who explicitly forbade abortion. The scientific community, from the 1600's all the way through to the 1800's, believed that babies actually existed before conception, in either the sperm or the egg. Such thinking, faulty though it was, was another anti-abortion influence. Finally, the very difficulty of confirming pregnancy before quickening made early abortions almost impossible, and late-term abortions ruined marriage prospects and were extremely dangerous. "With physical, social, theological and 'scientific' reasons all making abortion unacceptable, only those in extreme duress or with contempt for existing standards would resort to it." 8

Nevertheless, as America grew and expanded, many of the support mechanisms which helped provide for women during "crisis pregnancies" began to wane. Increased social isolation and separation through urbanization removed the societal and familial safety nets which pregnant, unwed women had been able to fall back on. "The probability of premarital intercourse leading to marriage declined as mobility increased and community enforcement of moral codes decreased." 9 Because of the physical obstacles and risks still associated with abortion, concealment of pregnancy before birth and the smothering of the baby after birth, was a more likely "choice." Nevertheless, abortion itself was starting to gain a foothold. It was still not considered legitimate or legal, but its frequency increased as more young women found themselves pregnant and alone, and more men were willing to pressure towards and perform abortions. It was at this point in the nation's history that Dr. John Trader of Missouri, "contended that men were (the ones) pushing women into abortion: 'We do not affirm, neither would we have you think for a moment, that the onus of this guilt lies at the feet of women. Far from it. In the majority of cases, they are more sinned against than sinning.'" 10

Historically, "the impulse of short-sessioned early nineteenth-century legislatures was to pass laws only when necessary, and generally only after near unanimity was achieved." 11 Social pressure and education had been effective abortion deterrents in the past, but as the morality of America grew more relaxed, "non-governmental means of containment seemed inadequate." 12 Abortion gained a larger foothold in American life, so lawmakers had to start dealing with it specifically and explicitly. In 1821, the first abortion legislation was passed in Connecticut, and lawmakers elsewhere did their best to keep up. New York legislation changed on abortion 10 times between 1828 and 1881. 13 The frequency of abortion, however, continued to increase.

Newly established abortion laws, like the less explicit laws that had gone before, still faced a real problem of convictability. Since juries would not generally convict a person of a capital crime without conclusive proof, the penalties associated with abortion were often reduced in an attempt to secure more convictions.

The refusal to make abortion a capital crime did not mean that the committee was viewing the unborn child as less than human life the committee explicitly stated that the being in question was 'alive from conception and all intentional killing of it is murder.' The question was one of how best to put abortionists out of business. The New York Times praised the bill as one 'far-reaching enough to catch hold of all who assist, directly or indirectly in the destruction of infant life it constitutes the crime of felony, and it imposes an imprisonment of not less than four years on. the rogues male and female who carry on their hideous trade. 14

The precedent, at this time, was that women themselves would not generally be prosecuted for abortion. Those who performed the actual abortions were the ones who faced sentencing.

Some states gave immunity to women from all criminal liability, partly because women pregnant after seduction were considered desperate victims rather than perpetrators, and partly because of the search for any kind of edge in prosecution. New Jersey, New York, and other states gave women immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony. By providing either no or low penalties, so that a woman would testify that she had been pregnant, prosecutors had a chance to leap the evidentiary hurdles of convincing a jury an abortion actually had occurred." 15

During the 1840's and 1850's, 13 states passed laws forbidding abortion at any stage. Three others made abortion illegal after quickening. In 1856, the Iowa Supreme Court held that pre-quickening abortion was not a crime, but in the next legislature, the prohibitions against pre-quickening abortions were restored 27-0 and 53-1. 16 Despite this newfound devotion to legislative intervention, abortionists continued to make inroads. They began advertising heavily in the Penny Press, though never using the word "abortion." Women were offered instant relief from "menstrual suppression," or were told of pills that were so effective at restoring a woman's regular monthly cycle that they should never be taken by pregnant women (hint, hint).

Abortion made its biggest gains, however, on the back of another infamous and fast-growing American practice: prostitution. Increased industrialization made business travel far more common for many American men, and the anonymity that went along with such travel gave them far more opportunities to seek the "comforts" of a prostitute. For the prostitutes themselves, higher wages for a lot less "work" was hard for many young women to pass up. By the middle of the century, there were somewhere in the vicinity of 60,000 prostitutes employed in America. 17 With not much in the way of birth control, and with an average of 30-40 sexual encounters a week, frequent pregnancy was a given. Since being pregnant would put them out of work, abortion became the happy alternative. New York detective John Warren noted that abortionists were "flourish[ing] and grow[ing] rich from prostitution as a source of income'. 18 Many doctors agreed, "Our profession is not entirely clear of complicity in the crime of feticide. Tempted by thirty pieces of silver . individuals may be found in whom the honorable instincts and teachings of the guild are lost in the influence of unprincipled cupidity." 19 Then, like today, many abortionists entered the field driven by profit rather than principle, and saw an opportunity to secure "loans" and guarantee wealth. Those seeking out abortion have always valued their anonymity, and abortion providers have not always been scrupulous in their demands to not leak information. One of the 19th century's most notorious abortionists, Madame Restell, made an art of securing large "loans" from former clients, loans that were never returned. According to The New York Times, "The residence of Mme Restell is one of the best known in New York. Her wealth is entirely the proceeds of her criminal profession." 20

Marvin Olasky estimates, based on a careful 10-point equation, that approximately 100,000 prostitution-related abortions were occurring each year at this point in American history. 21 The moral relaxation that seemed to be sweeping much of America began to have a significant impact on public opinion. For the first time, abortion wasn't just a dirty little secret, there were actually people beginning to defend the practice in public. Detective Warren further lamented that, "Social crimes like infanticide, that were once placed on the same level as murder, are now not only looked upon with complacency. but are defended on principle by certain theorists." 22 Despite the growing support that these "theorists" provided, the most significant members of the medical community continued to stand firmly against abortion. Dr. Stephen Tracy writes:

Whoever for the sake of gain, or for any other possible reason, designedly destroys [the fetus] excepting in cases where it is certainly and indispensably necessary, in order to save the life of the mother, commits a most awful crime, and will be called to give an account at the judgement of the Great Day.

The life of this new human being is sacred, and no one but God himself either has, or can have, the least shadow of a right or liberty to take it away. To destroy its life, for the sake of saving one's self from exposure and mortification, is but to add a greater to a lesser crime.

At forty-five days, the form of the child is very distinct. The head is very large the eyes, mouth, and nose are to be distinguished the hands and arms are in the middle of its length &ndash fingers distinct . . . at two months, all the parts of the child are present . . . the fingers and toes are distinct. At three months, the heart pulsates strongly, and the principal vessels carry red blood." 23

Ironically, the unrest leading up to the Civil War also became an opportunity for abortion to make more inroads. "For better or worse, the priority for many northern reformers became the evil down south rather than the evil in their own backyards." 24 As a result, "great opportunities were missed [when] good citizens often felt themselves called to deal with the great problems hundreds of miles away rather than the equally severe ones close to home." 25

It was around this same period, that abortion began to be associated with married women for the first time (though it was a very specific group of married women). The spiritist revolution of the mid-century enticed large numbers of people into throwing off all religious constraint so as to pursue their own sexual satisfaction in any way they saw fit. Married partners swapped spouses with great celebration, but certainly didn't want to deal with the offspring of these illicit affairs. Olasky here estimates, again as laid out in a detailed 6-point equation, that during 1860, there may have been as many as 45,000 abortions performed on the roughly 600,000 spiritist women. 26 When these married women first began seeking abortions from Dr. Charles D. Meigs in 1842, the Philadelphia doctor described them as "persons so ignorant of their own moral duties, or so uninstructed as to the character and duties of medical men, [that they came to him] with a bold-faced proposition to procure an abortion." His answer to such requests: "by common law [abortion] is felony, and by the law of God murder." 27

Still, not all doctors agreed with Dr. Meigs' clear assessment. A national debate was brewing, and the arguments both in favor of and in opposition to abortion sounded very much the same as they do today. Meanwhile, most churches of the time didn't know what to do with abortion. Some were bold in their testimony, as evidenced by an 1868 Congregational church conference declaration on abortion:

Full one third of the natural population of our land, falls by the hand of violence that in no one year of the late war have so many lost life in camp or battle, as have failed of life by reason of this horrid home crime. We shudder to view the horrors of intemperance, of slavery, and of war but those who best know the facts and bearing of this crime, declare it to be a greater evil, more demoralizing and destructive, than either intemperance, slavery or war itself. 28

The Presbyterian Church in the United States officially declared that, "the destruction by parents of their own offspring before birth," is, "a crime against God and against nature." 29 Continuing:

The whole power of the ministry and Church of Jesus Christ should be put forth in maintenance of the truth. We also exhort those who have been called to preach the gospel, and all who love purity and truth, and who would avert the just judgement of almighty God from the nation, that they be no longer silent or tolerant of these things, but that they endeavor by all proper means to stay the flood of impurity and cruelty. 30

Most other churches had very "little appetite for exposing wrongdoing when many members and some ministers wanted their own wrongdoing to be let alone." 31 In 1891, Brevard Sinclair, in his book The Crowning Sin of the Age stated that, regarding abortion, Americans witnessed "the Church asleep." 32 Nevertheless, in the decades leading up to the 20th century, abortion was clearly losing ground. The allure of "spiritism" had faded, and the American Medical Association, despite the perennial problem of convictability, began pursuing more stringent anti-abortion laws, primarily for the educational impact these laws would have on American morality. The National Abortion Federation (NAF) tells us that "by the 1870s, all states had criminalized abortion," and it had almost nothing to do with religious pressure. 33 According to the NAF, "physicians were the leading force in the campaign to criminalize abortion in the USA," arguing that abortion was "both immoral and dangerous." 34 At the same time, abortion opponents began to realize that laws, by themselves, were not enough. Dr. Joseph C. Stone, entered Congress in 1877 with the intention to "pass good laws when possible, but to stress conversion and education." 35 When a noteworthy physician was interviewed by the National Police Gazette and asked what the best hope was for preventing abortion, he answered:

Publicity. Let people know that is going on around them. There is no remedy for a great social secret sin like exposure. 36

While the nature of the abortion-related arguments were virtually the same 150 years ago as they are today, the lines of support have clearly shifted. In that day and age, "anti-abortion and anti-prostitution campaigns were liberal causes, carrying forward the solid anti-slavery impulses." 37 Some of the most outspoken and courageous abortion opponents were members of the mainstream media. The afore-mentioned National Police Gazette devoted itself to exposing abortionists, and The New York Times emphasized that the fight against abortion was a fight against money and power: "Great mansions on grand avenues are occupied by disgusting 'practitioners' who continue to escape prosecution." 38

While newspaper editorials pulled no punches in their condemnation of abortion, the ad departments often undermined their efforts by selling increasing numbers of ads to abortion providers. In 1904, Dr. Rudolph Holmes set out to address this grievance by convincing the Chicago Medical Society to form a Committee on Criminal Abortion. The committee then went after all the papers in Chicago who sold "veiled" ads to abortion providers. Despite, significant loss in ad revenue, most papers succumbed to Dr. Holmes' request for fear of the exposure he would have brought were they to continue such practice. The result was, that while "a typical issue of the Chicago Tribune in March 1905 contained seventeen abortion ads," by the end of the year, "there were no noticeable ads for abortionists [left]." 39

On top of the public pressure applied both by the medical community and by the major media outlets, there also was a growing commitment to establishing more practical support measures to help pregnant, unmarried women. In 1895, Chicago alone had dozens of shelters for just such women. Eventually, though, the victories gained by the pro-life movement began to be undermined and reversed. Abortionists, instead of advertising in the newspaper, printed up thousands of business cards to be directly distributed in brothels and boarding-houses. "Chicago abortionists had their own legal department, with witnesses on tap and ready to swear that 'the young woman had an operation elsewhere and the doctor was merely performing a life-saving operation'." 40 Many of those who had worked so tirelessly in opposing abortion fell into public despair as their efforts began to fade. Dr. Holmes lamented in 1908:

I have come to the conclusion that the public does not want, the profession does not want, the women in particular do not want, any aggressive campaign against the crime of abortion. I have secured evidence. I have asked different physicians, who either had direct knowledge of crime against the prisoner before the bar or who could testify as to general reputation, to come and testify. They promised to come, but when the time for trial is at hand no one appears. 41

Holmes concluded that while Illinois abortion law could not be improved on paper, a total lack of enforcement made such laws almost useless. He also noted the growing problem of national complicity. "It is not possible to get twelve men together without at least one of them being personally responsible for the downfall of a girl, or at least interested in getting her out of her difficulty." 42 Clergy were condemning abortion less and less, medical students were not being adequately informed of the enormity of the crime, laws continued to go unenforced and a general public apathy all combined to have a tragic snow-ball effect. Dr. M.S. Iseman concluded in 1912, that "except in the formal letter of the statute books, the sanctity which nearly twenty centuries of Christianity has conferred upon the unborn human being is repudiated." 43 Dr. Matthew Liotta writes in 1931, "Never before in all past ages has there been such merciless killing of innocent, helpless and unborn human beings as is going on at the present time." 44

Gradually, even opposition to abortion began to lose much of its moral framework. In medical text books, abortion was counseled against for the potential risks it presented to women rather than for the life it destroyed, and social work began to be secularized. Government funding required the removal of all religious indoctrination, and "professional social workers" replaced "evangelically-oriented matrons." 45 The notion of compassion shifted from helping people do what was right to helping people do whatever they wanted to do. Major media outlets had long returned to the lucrative business of abortion advertising, and it wasn't long before the editorial departments fell into line with the publisher's desire to better accommodate their advertising partners. Distinctions were suddenly made between "good" abortionists and "bad" abortionists. Those promoting contraception touted that it "would do away entirely with the evil of abortion." 46 Whether they ever actually believed this in private is debatable, but the sexual emancipation that the widespread promotion of birth-control helped accommodate certainly added to the business of the professional abortionist.

The birth control issue, split the pro-life community for many years and hamstrung their efforts during the crucial 1960's, when public opinion began to shift in significant fashion. In 1962, national news reports of a women who died from an illegal abortion (and then was cut into pieces) horrified the nation, and "All-American" mom, Sherri Finkbine, became famous for having to go to Sweden to abort the child she feared would be disabled. The average American began to perceive illegal abortion, rather than abortion itself, as the real problem. In 1967, Colorado and California became the first states to legalize abortion for pregnancies that resulted from rape or incest, for pregnancies that threatened the life of the mother, or for pregnancies of severely handicapped children. Over the next three years, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina and Virginia all followed suit. In 1970 New York became the first state to offer unrestricted abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Hawaii, Alaska and Washington soon followed. One year later, in 1971, the famed Roe v. Wade first came to trial. When the verdict was handed down in 1973, all state laws regulating abortion were stricken, and abortion on demand became the law of the land.

The history of abortion since 1973 is far more well-known and can be examined further in The Legality of Abortion.

In the end, examining the history of abortion in America reveals that abortion has been a significant part of the American landscape from as far back as the early 1800's. It also reveals, however, that some of the best minds in American history consistently condemned abortion, and it offers us insight for combatting abortion today. Where a resolute commitment to educating the public is in place, and where there is support for women in crisis pregnancy, and where there are laws on the books to inform public morality, the prospects for reversing the current frequency and acceptability of abortion are very promising.

This page was last updated on July 13, 2019. To cite this page in a research paper, visit: "Citing Abort73 as a Source."

  • Matt Hancock, 42, is accused of having an affair with lobbyist Gina Coladangelo, wife of Oliver Bonas founder
  • Health Secretary caught on CCTV kissing mother-of-three in Whitehall on May 6, 2021
  • Whistleblower claims their relationship was talk of Department of Health, where kissing happened last month
  • Health Secretary Hancock has been married for 15 years to wife Martha and the couple have three children
  • Mrs Hancock left the family home wearing her wedding ring, but looked sad as she declined to comment
  • Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats are calling for Boris Johnson to sack him over the alleged affair
  • Do you remember Matt Hancock from his university days. Email [email protected]

Published: 01:48 BST, 25 June 2021 | Updated: 12:44 BST, 26 June 2021

Boris Johnson today refused to sack Matt Hancock having accepted an apology that neglected to mention the wife he cheated on after he was caught on CCTV passionately kissing his most senior aide against the door of his Whitehall office.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said Mr Johnson now 'considered the matter closed' and refused to answer questions on whether Mr Hancock broke the law or ministerial code as the Health Secretary admitted he had 'let people down' and said sorry for flouting social distancing rules.

Married Mr Hancock, 42, failed to deny claims of a secret long-term affair after extraordinary images revealed his passionate clinch with millionaire lobbyist Gina Coladangelo, 43, where he was filmed rubbing her back and bottom during their workplace embrace.

In an extraordinary statement he did not mention his wife of 15 years Martha, the mother of his three children, who was pictured looking heartbroken while walking the family dog near their north London home today, only saying he had 'let people down' and wanted 'privacy for my family on this personal matter'.

As Mr Hancock fights for his political life, Labour and the Liberal Democrats branded him a 'hypocrite' who should be fired for kissing a lover and ignoring his own 'hands, face and space' mantra while telling the UK not to hug their loved-ones and not to have casual sex and stick to 'established relationships' to stop coronavirus spreading.

But despite the sleaze scandal Mr Hancock still hopes to survive and said: 'I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances. I have let people down and am very sorry. I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter'.

And backing him Boris Johnson's spokesman told reporters: 'You have seen the Health Secretary's statement and so I would point you to that, I don't really have anything further to add. He accepts that he has broken the social distancing guidelines. The Prime Minister has accepted the Health Secretary's apology and considers the matter closed.' He added 'all the correct procedures were followed' in hiring Gina Coladangelo, who is paid £15,000 for around 15 days work per year.

It came as a YouGov poll found that 49 per cent of people believe he should resign as Health Secretary. 25 per cent say he should remain and the final 26 per cent weren't sure.

As Downing Street made its first comments it confirmed suspicions that Boris Johnson would not sack his Health Secretary given his own chequered love life, especially after his own alleged four-year affair with American pole-dancing businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri, who he employed as an advisor while Mayor of London.

Mr Hancock's kiss with Ms Coladangelo, a mother-of-three whose husband Oliver Tress is the founder of clothing shop Oliver Bonas, is alleged to have taken place at the Department for Health's headquarters in central London at around 3pm on May 6 this year - the day of the UK local elections and a week after his first coronavirus jab.

Newly emerged footage appears to show Mr Hancock checking the corridor is clear before closing the door, leaning on it to stop it opening before launching into their passionate embrace. The Sun claims they have been having an affair that has been the talk of the department - but it is not known if they remain in a relationship that was a secret until today.

He married Martha, 44, in 2006 and the couple have three children together. Mrs Hancock looked sad and upset as she left the couple's home but didn't speak to reporters about her husband's alleged infidelity. Her husband was nowhere to be seen, however, she was still wearing her wedding ring.

The shutters were closed at the £4.5million South London home Mrs Coladangelo shares with Oliver Tress and their three children today. They are also believed to have a country home near the West Sussex coast. She has been working as an advisor for Mr Hancock since last year, with one source saying: 'Before Matt does anything big, he'll speak to Gina'.

But they first met at Oxford University 25 years ago at their college's radio station and Mrs Coladangelo is friends with Matt Hancock's wife on Facebook and they have spent time together socially.

This is the image that has left Matt Hancock fighting for his job today that appears to show him kissing his millionaire aide - who is on the public payroll - in May this year

Mr Hancock said sorry for breaking social distancing and asked for 'privacy' for his family, but refused to resign as Health Secretary

Geoffrey Edelsten's widow Gabi Grecko says Brynne ruined their marriage

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Clare, in Love and War

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When Clare Boothe married Henry “Harry” Luce, the 37-year-old founder of Time and Fortune, she was 32 and already well known, as a former managing editor of Vanity Fair. Born illegitimate to poor parents, Clare was a pretty enough child actress to understudy Mary Pickford on Broadway and to act in a silent movie. In her teens she had also briefly campaigned for equal rights with the National Woman’s Party. Then she allowed her socially ambitious mother to steer her into a loveless marriage to the Fifth Avenue millionaire George Brokaw, who was more than twice her age. Six years later, in 1929, now a well-off divorcée with a five-year-old daughter, Clare launched a lifelong series of male conquests, starting with the Wall Street speculator Bernard Baruch. Condé Nast, who was infatuated with her, employed her at Vogue and later Vanity Fair. An early writing assignment at the latter was a 1930 “Hall of Fame” profile of Luce, who in 1935 left his wife and two sons for her. The following year, Clare became even more celebrated as the writer of the all-female Broadway play The Women. She would eventually write eight plays, three books, and several movie scripts. For almost three decades, the Luces were indisputably America’s foremost power couple. Clare covered the early days of World War II in the Far East and Europe as a correspondent for Life, her husband’s picture magazine, then served in Congress as a two-term Republican representative from Connecticut. As the only female member of the House Military Affairs Committee, she twice toured the Italian and French battlefronts and had liaisons with at least two generals. The devastating death of her only child, Ann, in an auto accident at age 19, drove Clare to convert to Roman Catholicism (with the help of Reverend Fulton J. Sheen) and later to experiment with psychedelic drugs. As a formidable television campaigner, she helped Dwight D. Eisenhower win a landslide victory over Adlai E. Stevenson in the presidential election of 1952. Shortly afterward, a summons came for Clare to meet the president-elect at his transition headquarters in New York’s Commodore Hotel, a meeting she carefully recorded.

Presidential Favor

At the hotel, she found a warren of offices swarming with job seekers. Then Eisenhower emerged and strode toward her, smiling broadly with outstretched hands. He ushered her into his suite and closed the door. She was struck, as often before, by the “sheer vitality of the man, and his essential simplicity and goodness . . . with that warmth and cheerful heartedness and self-possession that inspire love and confidence in everyone.”

Clare by Vanity Fair artist Miguel Covarrubias., by Neal Boenzi/The New York Times/Redux.

Their conversation began with pleasantries about her influential husband’s role in the campaign. Eisenhower then changed the subject, saying he would like to appoint a Catholic as his secretary of labor. What did she think about that? Clare said he would need someone of “tremendous capacity” for such a demanding job.

“There is no job so tough you couldn’t do it,” Ike said.

While she digested this compliment, he remarked that she was “certainly smarter and abler” than Frances Perkins, the first woman to hold any Cabinet post. Clare was even more flattered but, knowing from congressional experience that she had no propensity for dealing with unions, said she felt unqualified.

Eisenhower asked if there was another job she would prefer. Clare suggested tentatively that she could be a successor to Eleanor Roosevelt as chairman of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. He looked surprised and said that would not be “much of a thing.” In any case, the post was filled.

Edging closer to candor, Clare said she “fit nowhere except into the field of foreign affairs.” Before Ike could reply, she added, “And with London gone to Aldrich—”

“Who told you that?” he snapped.

“Everyone in New York knows, because the Aldriches have leaked it.”

He laughed and said Winthrop Aldrich was “the brainiest man with the least wisdom” he had ever encountered. It was true, however, that the former banker had been appointed to the Court of St. James’s.

Continuing to press, Eisenhower asked, “What would you like best?”

Clare knew there was only one answer. Mysteriously and often over the years, Italy had summoned her, first when she had been a correspondent for Life in 1940, then twice more, when she visited American and British troops in 1944 and 1945, and had repeatedly met Pope Pius XII. Since the end of the war, she and Harry had been as concerned over the threat of Communist expansion in Italy as in China. They had helped orchestrate the successful fund-raising visit to the United States of Alcide De Gasperi, Italy’s postwar architect of Christian capitalist democracy. He was still in power and deeply grateful to them.

Clare in the Luces’ Fifth Avenue apartment, 1964.

Eisenhower was waiting to hear what reward she wanted, so Clare took the plunge. “Naturally, what I can’t get. Rome.”

“Who told you you can’t get it and why?”

“There are so many others to whom you are obligated.”

At this point, she cast aside false modesty and cited three benefits he might gain in choosing her. First, he would gratify the millions of Catholics who had voted for him second, her appointment would save him from having to send another of her faith to the Vatican and, third, every female in the electorate “would be pleased that a woman had finally got a number one diplomatic post.” Left unspoken was her dismay at the growing presence of Communists in Italy’s government and industries.

Eisenhower hedged. He wondered if she might have a second choice, such as Mexico. “You could do a splendid job for me there.” Clare said lamely that it might be an easier commute. Still probing, Ike asked how her husband would feel about her going to Italy. She admitted that they had discussed it, and Harry liked the idea. Time Inc. had a bureau in the Eternal City, so he could visit her and run his business from there. She did not have to remind Eisenhower that with their combined wealth they had ample means to finance the entertaining expected in a prime ambassadorial spot.

He brought the discussion to an end without committing himself, but gave her a caution that sounded like encouragement. “Please don’t discuss this with Foster.” John Foster Dulles, as Clare knew, was his choice as secretary of state, and, as a staunch Presbyterian, was unlikely to favor a Catholic woman in the Rome embassy.

“Let me wangle it, and be patient,” Ike said.

As if on cue, Dulles entered. After a brief chat, she left with the impression that if he agreed to have her in his diplomatic corps she would get her heart’s desire.

In a letter that night, Clare shared every detail with Harry, who was on a business trip to Asia. Seeking to assuage whatever disappointment he might feel at not having been favored himself, she told him that she disliked the prospect of their having to pursue separate careers on different sides of the Atlantic. “The awful apartness . . . fills me with panic, vertigo, anguish beyond reason when I contemplate it.” They must thrash it out as soon as he returned—the implication being that she hoped Harry would reassure her that their marriage could stand the strain. In the meantime, “my poor, thirsty little (no, big) ego has had the healing draught it needed most. . . . I am so very happy because I feel recognized, appreciated, wanted . . . by the one man whose recognition and appreciation matter most in politics.” In a dozen ways, she added, Ike had made it clear that “in honoring the wife, he sought to honor and please the husband!” She reminded Harry, in a postscript, of his importance around the globe. “Gosh darling, in the tragic environs of Korea and Formosa, does all this sound—trivial and selfish? And irrelevant?”

After years of marital crises and exhausting reconciliations, their mutual support of Eisenhower and shared interest in Cold War politics boded salvation for them both. They were now in a position to try to influence policy as well as comment on it.

Her true excitement showed in a note to a friend at Vogue: “Maggie, I want Italy more than anything in my entire life.”

On December 17, 1952, Clare heard that she had been nominated Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Italy. As the first woman ever to hold such an important diplomatic post, she spent three and a half years in Rome and distinguished herself there despite opposition from chauvinists in her own embassy as well as Communists in Italian industry and the government. Her major achievement was to help settle the intractable Trieste crisis, which threatened to bring about war between Italy and Marxist Yugoslavia. In 1959, Eisenhower appointed her ambassador to Brazil, but in the congressional hearing to approve her, she crossed swords with the truculent senator Wayne Morse, of Oregon, who opposed her so aggressively that, although confirmed by a large majority, Clare felt compelled to resign the post. Far from being cast down, she embarked at age 56 on an exhilarating new experience.

Sex, Lies, and Hallucinogens

At 11:25 A.M. on May 16, 1959, at Sugar Hill, the Luces’ 20-room, Georgian-style house in Ridgefield, Connecticut, Clare took 100 micrograms of lysergic acid diethylamide. Two friends from California, the writer-philosopher Gerald Heard and his musician partner, Jay Michael Barrie, supervised the dose. It was her third experience in three months with LSD, as the new hallucinatory drug was known.

By 11:55 she was gazing out the window “with great stillness and intensity,” Barrie noted as recorder. They had been listening to Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, and when it ended, Clare said, still staring at her lawns and flowering dogwood trees, “It’s hard to tell whether the music was accompanying that out there, or that out there was accompanying the music.”

At 12:10 she protested that Stravinsky’s Renard was “a vast intrusion” on her contemplation and should be turned off. “The trees, if they knew what they were doing, would be making their own music. . . . The colors are beginning to separate themselves into all their exquisite subtleties.”

Soon her mood changed again, and she requested that a bowl of lilacs be brought to her. She focused closely on the blossoms and said, “Now I’m beginning to see the flowers breathe. It makes one yearn to see God.”

The sound of an automobile horn outside announced the arrival of Harry for lunch. “I shall leave you three to wrestle with the spaghetti,” Clare said. While the men ate, she remained on the porch, drinking a cup of broth. Then she went out, spread a blanket on the lawn, and lay down.

By 6:15 the effects of her trip had worn off. She joined her husband and guests for dinner and the kind of cerebral conversation with Gerald that she relished. She had met him in 1947, while working on a screenplay in Hollywood, and had been captivated by his Anglo-Irish charm, erudition, and spirituality. The author of more than 30 books on science, religion, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism, Heard had immigrated to America with Aldous Huxley in 1937. He had become a devotee of the Hindu guru Swami Prabhavananda, and after World War II had emerged as something of a guru himself, founding the monastery-like Trabuco College of Prayer, in the Santa Ana Mountains.

His interest in liberating “the inner man” had led him in 1954 to experiment with Huxley in taking mescaline, a psychedelic derivative of cactus plants. The following year he had moved on to experiment with LSD. Not being an accredited scientist or physician, Heard had to obtain his supplies from a friend, Dr. Sidney Cohen, chief of psychosomatic medicine at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Los Angeles. The doctor was administering a federal program to investigate the drug’s potential in treating psychotics and criminals but was also interested in its effect on creative and highly intelligent people, such as Clare Luce.

Feeling revitalized after three mostly pleasant acid trips, Clare began a three-month literary sojourn on the Caribbean island of St. John. Her intent was to work on her memoirs, but she found introspection into her painful past daunting and got no further than a brief outline. She gave up in favor of writing a detective novel set in Brazil, and at first the prose flowed effortlessly. She told Heard that her facility must be due to the prolonged effects of LSD.

Letters arrived at the island from Father John Courtney Murray, professor of Catholic Trinitarian theology at Woodstock College, a Jesuit seminary in Maryland. He was Clare’s spiritual adviser. During her time in Italy, he had also become a golfing buddy and confidant of Harry’s, and now wrote to say that her husband was experiencing an unspecified emotional crisis.

On September 19, on the first of what Clare described as several “agonized nights” of marital confrontation, Harry confessed that for the past three years he had been seeing and sleeping with Lady Jeanne Campbell, granddaughter of the British press mogul Lord Beaverbrook.

Now 30, Jeanne was a more mature version of the tall, peachy-cheeked 20-year-old Clare remembered from staying with Beaverbrook in Jamaica in 1949. Since the young woman’s parents had divorced early, she had seldom lived at Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of her father, Ian Campbell, Duke of Argyll, in Scotland’s Western Highlands. Instead, she had stayed at her grandfather’s multiple establishments, dabbling in acting and having a fling with the Fascist Sir Oswald Mosley. Harry had met Jeanne again at Beaverbrook’s villa on the French Riviera and become besotted with her.


Joel began his career as a preacher on January 17, 1999, after he finally accepted his father's long-standing offer. Six days after preaching his first sermon, Joel met with a tragedy. His father had died suffering a heart attack. His father's death sparked his desire to preach full-time. Two weeks after the death, Joel began preaching frequently, and by the end of that year, The church inaugurated him as the senior pastor of Lakewood Church.

Lakewood's attendance saw a rapid increase from 5,000 to 43,000 members in 1999. A sports arena known as Compaq Center, the former home of the NBA team Houston Rockets, was bought by Lakewood Church in 2003. According to reports, the renovation cost was around 105 million dollars. The renovation spanned 15 months and added five additional stories to expand capacity. During the opening ceremony, there were an estimated 65,000 people in attendance.

One Plus One Is Three

The question in the next verse, “Did He not make them one?” leads us to an important aspect of marriage that most don’t take into consideration when contemplating a divorce. Marriage assumes a sexual union, and this union is much more than just a physical experience it is the union of mind and spirit. Something happens within the mind that causes two people to become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 Matthew 19:5).

This relationship between husband and wife is essential to a healthy family relationship. “A central finding to my research,” says Wallerstein, “is that children identify not only with their mother and father as separate individuals but with the relationship between them. They carry the template of this relationship into adulthood and use it to seek the image of their new family.”

This fits exactly with the message of Malachi, where God’s hatred of divorce is connected to the effects on children: “He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. For the L ord God of Israel says that He hates divorce” (Malachi 2:15–16).

The marriage-covenant relationship is intended to produce children and to provide them with the physical-mental nurturing a young, developing mind requires.

Mary Hirschfeld, in her Adult Children of Divorce Workbook, states: “There is nothing that hurts more than the wound that is meted out by the most important people in our childhood, our mother and father, because it violates the promise, implicit to life itself, to provide continuous safety and care. I believe most human beings unconsciously believe that a mother and father, when they create a life, enter into a tacit agreement to continue the family as a unit and to be present to guide the children until they can claim the world as adults. When parents do this . . . it nourishes trust and allows the children to build a healthy foundation for all of life’s tasks.”

This is precisely the basis of God’s injunction against Israel. They were destroying the security of future generations by their dismantling of the marriage relationship—and so are we!

Despite divorcing, when Elvis passed away, Priscilla &aposwanted to die&apos

Priscilla discovered that Elvis was reluctant to sleep with her after she&aposd gone through childbirth. He told her he wanted her to have time to recover, but, as Priscilla later wrote, "He had mentioned before we were married that he had never been able to make love to a woman who𠆝 had a child." As he had before they were married, Elvis slept with other women. But Priscilla was no longer willing to simply wait for him to come home.

Priscilla had a short-lived liaison with the owner of a dance school. And despite renewing vows in Hawaii, she continued to experience the limitations of her marriage. "My life was his life," she said to People magazine in 1978. "My problems were secondary." Still unfulfilled, she had an affair with her karate instructor, Mike Stone. In 1972, she told Elvis she was leaving him. When he found out about her affair, he wanted to hire a hitman to kill her partner but was convinced not to.

Their divorce, which was finalized on October 9, 1973, was an amicable one. Priscilla would say in a 2016 interview, "I did not divorce him because I didn&apost love him. He was the love of my life, but I had to find out about the world." They shared custody of Lisa Marie and regularly saw each other. After learning that Elvis had died on August 16, 1977, Priscilla was devastated. She wrote in her memoir, Elvis and Me , "I wanted to die."

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