Georgia Woman Won't Be Charged With Murder For Inducing Abortion

Photo: Courtesy of Kenlissia Jones' Facebook
Murder charges have been dropped in the case of a Georgia woman who took abortion pills to terminate her pregnancy, The Washington Post reports. The woman was jailed for three days and charged with murder and possession of a dangerous drug before her release on Wednesday.

On the night of June 6, Kenlissia Jones, 23, took Misoprostol she'd ordered online to end her five-and-a-half-month pregnancy, and then drove herself to the hospital. She delivered the fetus, which did not survive, en route. After revealing she'd taken the pills, she was arrested.

Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards said in a statement there is no Georgia law that permits prosecution of a woman for ending her own pregnancy. Edwards dismissed Jones’s malice murder charge Wednesday, adding, “Although third parties could be criminally prosecuted for their actions relating to an illegal abortion, as the law currently stands in Georgia, criminal prosecution of a pregnant woman for her own actions against her unborn child does not seem permitted.”

The report says Jones ordered the prescription drug Cytotec from a Canadian company online. Cytotec is used to help prevent stomach ulcers, in addition to inducing non-surgical abortions. In 2012, the state of Georgia outlawed abortions after 20 weeks; Jones took the medication at 22 weeks, according to The Washington Times.

This does not mark the first time a woman was charged with murder for ending a pregnancy. In 2012, a single Idaho mother of three, Jennie Linn McCormack, took Mifeprex she ordered online to induce an abortion. NPR pointed out that surgical abortions in Idaho start at $500, and state protocol requires multiple trips to the clinic — the closest of which to McCormack was hours away.

Earlier this year, officials slapped a Pennsylvania mother with felony charges and misdemeanor counts for ordering pills online to induce her teenage daughter’s abortion in 2012. An Indiana court convicted Purvi Patel of feticide and felony child neglect in February when she took pills from Hong Kong to miscarry her fetus.

Edwards told local news channel WALB that Jones’ case will likely go to before a grand jury, as it deals with complicated federal and state laws.

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