A woman got an abortion in the US and now she could face the death penalty

A woman got an abortion in the US and now she could face the death penalty

A 23-year-old woman in Albany, Georgia could be facing the death penalty because she took an abortion pill at home.

Kenlissa Jones took Cytotec, an abortion pill she bought online, at home on Saturday night. However, the treatment is only advised for use in the first trimester and Jones was allegedly five months pregnant. After it became clear something was wrong Jones got a neighbour to drive her to the emergency room.

The foetus was delivered in the car and died half an hour after Jones managed to get to the hospital. Police arrested her and charged her with malice murder on the spot.

"Malice murder", a charge that Jones intended to do harm to her unborn child, is punishable by death or life imprisonment under Georgia state law. The mother-of-one is in jail without bail and waiting for her case to go to a grand jury.

  • Police released a mugshot after Jones was arrested

It's possible that if Jones had gone to an abortion clinic for a safer procedure she would have been refused a termination, as Georgia does not necessarily grant the right to an abortion five months into pregnancy.

There is hope the case against Jones will be dropped - Lynn Paltrow of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a legal group in New York which is offering advice to Jones, told the Huffington Post that case law suggests women can't be arrested for the outcomes of their pregnancies.

Genevieve Wilson of the anti-abortion group Georgia Right to Life also said she was also surprised by the case.

"I'm thinking that perhaps whoever made the arrest may not have known what the laws really are."

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