[UPDATE: Murder charges dropped. Jones still faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous drug.]
Kenlissia Jones, 23, of Georgia has been charged with murder after a hospital social worker reported her to the police for taking cytotec pills she purchased online to terminate her pregnancy. She is being held on charges of malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug. Leaders in both pro-choice and anti-abortion groups said they were surprised by the charges.
"We don't believe there is any law in Georgia that allows for the arrest of a woman for the outcome of her pregnancy," said Lynn Paltrow [attorney and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women], whose group is offering free legal aid to Jones.
Genevieve Wilson, a director of the anti-abortion group Georgia Right to Life, said this is the first time she has heard of a woman in Georgia facing a murder charge for ending her pregnancy. And Wilson agreed with Paltrow that feticide and abortion laws in the state have not been used to target women who end their own pregnancies.
"I am very surprised by the arrest," Wilson said. "And I'm thinking that perhaps whoever made the arrest may not have known what the laws really are."
District Attorney Greg Edwards said he's reviewing the case, but "as of right now she's still charged."
Cytotec is prescribed to reduce stomach ulcers. It can also be used to terminate a pregnancy. The Woman on Waves site says "Using Misoprostol (or Cytotec) alone to cause an abortion will be successful 90% of the time." It is not a controlled substance.
“Alabama is one signature away from enacting a near-total ban on abortions.”
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