A Georgia woman is in jail with murder charges hanging over her because she took a pill to induce an abortion, resulting in the death of her fetus as she was en route to the hospital. According to local WALB News, Kenlissia Jones, 23, purchased a drug called Cytotech online from a source in Canada. On Saturday, she took the drug at around 8 p.m., causing her to experience pain.
As a neighbor drove her to the hospital, the pills took effect and the fetus lived for about a half hour outside her body. She was arrested and jailed on charges of malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug.
She was about five-and-a-half months pregnant, the station reported. Georgia law prohibits abortions after 20 weeks gestation. Jones, who has a toddler, was jailed without bond. The charges leveled against her surprised everyone from anti-abortion activists to the district attorney reviewing the case.
Legal experts say prosecuting Jones would fly in the face of Georgia state and case law, the Wall Street Journal reports. State law forbids prosecuting women for feticide in association with their own pregnancies, attorney and women’s advocate Lynn Paltrow told the Journal. And a precedent-setting case determined a teen who shot herself in the abdomen while pregnant, resulting in a stillbirth, couldn’t be prosecuted for performing an illegal abortion. Prosecutors dropped the case.
“I have been involved in the pro-life movement for well over 20 years, and I’m not aware of a situation like this ever,” Genevieve Wilson, a director for the anti-abortion group Georgia Right to Life, told Talking Points Memo. “I’m very surprised by it.”