Streaming Media


This Independent Study examines the life of Ann Lohman, an English immigrant who offered contraceptive services, including abortion, in nineteenth century New York City. Lohman was often denounced within nineteenth century society based on public values of morality, virtue, vice, and expectations of womanhood. She was attacked by medical professionals and moral reformers who sought to stop her, as well as other practitioners of abortion, from offering contraceptive services. Most historians have only viewed her as her notorious public alias, Madame Restell, which attaches a negative connotation to her career. This study looks at Lohman’s advertisements in newspapers like The Herald and The Sun, court cases against her business, and the overall environment in Victorian society in attempt to reclaim and reposition her as a female health advocate. I argue that Lohman made important contributions to the growing public discussion on female sexuality and reproduction through her defiance of societal standards. Lohman’s work in the nineteenth century, then, likely initiated future endeavors regarding women’s reproductive health rights.


Baumgartner, Kabria




History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | United States History | Women's History

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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