Abortion

Georgia Drops Murder Charges Against Kenlissa Jones Since Law Explicitly Forbids Charging Pregnant Women For 'Unlawful' Abortion

"Georgia law does not permit prosecution" of woman who took abortion pill, says district attorney.

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WomenonWaves.org

Georgia prosecutors have dropped the murder charges brought against 23-year-old Kenlissa Jones, who attempted to abort her pregnancy at around five months by taking an abortion drug that she ordered online. The drug sent Jones into early labor, delivering a child that allegedly was alive but died soon thereafter. Jones was originally charged with malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug, and was held in the Dougherty County jail without bond from Saturday through her release Wednesday. 

The Dougherty County district attorney's office is still charging Jones with misdemeanor possesion of a dangerous drug (Cytotec, also known by the generic name misoprostol). But it dropped the murder charges after District Attorney Greg Edwards realized that "Georgia law does not permit prosecution of Ms Jones for any alleged acts relating to the end of her pregnancy." 

Georgia law states that any abortion performed after the first trimester must take place in a licensed hospital or health facility. But "although third parties could be criminally prosecuted for their actions relating to an illegal abortion," Edwards said in a statement, "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. Applicable criminal law and statutes provide explicit immunity from prosecution for a pregnant woman for any unlawful termination of her pregnancy."  

Georgia also has a tentative ban on abortions after 20 weeks pregnancy, but it's been temporarily blocked by a state judge. 

Jones' brother told The Washington Post that his sister is "mentally unstable" and didn't have the money it would cost to obtain a surgical abortion. State pathologists conducted an autopsy on Jones' baby to see if it ever took a breath, but officials have yet to say whether a live birth occured. 

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81 responses to “Georgia Drops Murder Charges Against Kenlissa Jones Since Law Explicitly Forbids Charging Pregnant Women For 'Unlawful' Abortion

  1. Applicable criminal law and statutes provide explicit immunity from prosecution for a pregnant woman for any unlawful termination of her pregnancy.

    This is frequently the case, and I had wondered about it yesterday. Good reporting!

    1. I’m wondering more than a little bit as to the degree of competency of a D.A. that is unaware of “explicit immunity from prosecution” under statute.

      1. Yet another “reasonable mistake of law”!

      2. And even now, he notes they have “explicit immunity” and translates that into saying prosecution does “not seem permitted.”

      3. Probably similar to the competency of a certain federal judge who thinks blustery blog comments constitute a threat.

        1. Also Fuck Postrel. The reason I keep reading reason is for the commenters.

          1. But see, when an article is published about cops beating some homeless guy to death or shooting a 12 year old you’re not supposed to get angry. These aren’t real people. They’re abstract concepts to be politely discussed over tennis.

            1. That’s it. The next meetup will be over tea and coffee at the country club. No booze.

              1. And no foul language. Harumph!

              2. I don’t know what kind of country club you go to. No booze?

                1. Voluntarily. For Postrel.

                  Normally, I’ll have a whiskey and coke and the country club.

                  1. Stop abusing your whiskey, Playa.


                    1. Stop abusing your whiskey, Playa.

                      Right?!? Get better whisk(e)y, Playa.

    2. Should the state, in such a case, be held liable for any legal fees incurred by the defendant as it relates to prosecutorial stupidity?

      1. Fees? How about the pain and suffering of all the time she spent in jail when she was being held without bond? Considering the charge they got her on was Drug War bullshit, I’d frankly call it all a matter of false arrest and imprisonment.

        1. “My bad” is sufficient for cops and DAs. Hey, they admitted to a slight possibility that errors were made. Not by them, but someone. The cosmos came together, and things happened, and, “oops, my bad”.

          1. Hey, they still get punished, you know! Sometimes they have to take a hard look at their policies before not changing them.

  2. State pathologists conducted an autopsy on Jones’ baby to see if it ever took a breath, but officials have yet to say whether a live birth occured.

    Thank God somebody finally came up with a bright line between fetus and alive. *flees thread*

    1. Is it just me or abortion threads no longer the, um, abortions that they used to be? Is there some sort of malaise? Or did we just move on to immigration or artisinal mayo or the c-word or something?

      1. I believe we should be allowed to abort all children up until the age of 1 year old because until that age they do not yet have the sentience necessary to consider them fully human.

        There. Now maybe we can turn this abortion thread into a real flame war.

        1. Maybe I should have put a /sarc tag in there just to make sure no one thought I was serious.

          1. Too late, you’ve already summoned Old Mexican.

          2. I thought default sarc tags were assumed now. You’re speaking from a 7:00 mentality.

            1. Someone should tell Irish that Cytotoxic is spoofing his account.

              1. Stop it HM! You’re making me paranoid. I don’t know what to believe anymore.

                1. Stop it HM! You’re making me paranoid.

                  No, I’m paranoid.

                  GET IT TOGETHER, MAN!

                  1. *slaps Mr. Android, then self*
                    Ah, that’s better.

        2. Babies don’t respect my rights, why should I respect theirs?

        3. Sparta approves. Just chuck it to the wolves.

      2. It’s all campus rape and minority teenagers now. And The War, but I’ve said too much.

        iCarl, I got your email.

        1. We don’t talk about the war since 7:01 PM on 6/8/2015.

          1. NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT THE WAR RIGHT NOW. GET IT TOGETHER.

            1. What war?

        2. Why is iCarl emailing everyone? Are we massing troops? Hey Feds, we don’t actually have an army.

          1. +1 Dumbledore’s Army

            1. Reducto!!!

              Where…where do I turn in my mancard?

              1. If you could get a wand out of the deal, you’d turn in all the mancards they want. I would, you would, Epi definitely would, and Paul would run so fast to the front of the line, all you’d see is ass and elbows.

      3. Artisinal Cunt Mayonnaise.

        1. I could make so many nasty jokes about this phrase that I’m afraid I can’t choose just one.

          1. Perhaps that a few days a month one can get Artisanal Cunt Ketchup? Of course, if you time it just right, you can get a mix of the two – Artisanal Cunt Russian Dressing…

      4. Where’s Eddie?

        1. (see below)

  3. “Georgia also has a tentative ban on abortions after 20 weeks pregnancy, but it’s been temporarily blocked by a state judge.”

    This is probably a reference to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Doris Downs, who issued an injunction against this law before it took effect in 2013.

    http://onlineathens.com/local-…..ortion-law

    Downs is a judge of the Superior Court of Fulton County, and was elected unopposed in 2012, with 99.7% of the vote, a percentage usually associated with Saddam Hussein.

    She’s up for re-election in 2016, and let’s hope nobody is so rash as to run against her. She deserved not only to be re-elected, but to receive a lifetime appointment in honor of her selfless commitment to justice:

    http://ballotpedia.org/Doris_L._Downs

    1. And I truly believe, no snark intended, that Judge Downs is *accompanied by angels* when she does her work.

  4. “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.”

    “We must close the abortion loophole!”

  5. The Dougherty County district attorney’s office is still charging Jones with misdemeanor possesion of a dangerous drug…

    The greatest of all crimes.

    1. Look, we gotta do something.

  6. OT: anyone see Joyce Carol Oates getting trolled hard on the Twatters?

    1. It’s hilarious. Or an example of the driest wit ever.

      1. Yes, the progressives at Salon have no reason to want to make Oates look silly by mischaracterizing a statement that anyone who is not on the autism spectrum would realize is a joke.

        1. Considering Oates’s history of Twitter retardation, I don’t really think it was a joke. She’s…really dumb on Twitter.

          1. Everyone is dumb on Twitter.

            I can say ill of anyone who’s down with V. S. Naipaul.

            You down wit VSN…err..P?

          2. I could absolutely see mistaking the corpse for African big game. It’s bewildering that Salon rated it likelier that Oates really thinks dinosaurs remain extant than that she made a joke.

            Not really. They’re smug, self-congratulatory little shits.

            1. Not only that, but it seems Ms. Rothkopf, graduate of Columbia’s School of Journalism (isn’t that always the case?), and Salon editor focusing on science, needs to remove the beam from her eye concerning things paleontological:

              just found out that birds are just baby dinosaurs? lol am i the last person to know this

              For someone who makes her living through letters, the text of her twitter feed reads disturbingly like a 13-year old girl’s SMS messages.

              1. Gah, they arent babies, they are full grown dinosaurs. If the birds are full grown.

                Which also means dinosaurs arent extinct.

                1. Not all of them, anyway.

              2. what is this I can’t even

            2. I could absolutely see mistaking the corpse for African big game.

              Well, sure. If you think Jurassic Park is a documentary.

              1. From a quick glance at a blurry thumbnail. It’s the same kneejerk response to lovely conservationists like Kendall Jones.

          3. They are the three saddest words in the English language.

          4. Yeah, but she’s a terrific writer. Read her novella ZOMBIE sometime–very creepy.

      2. After doing a little reconnoitering, I concluded JCO was not being facetious.

  7. Yeah, kinda what we were thinking yesterday.

    You do get into a legal tangle, though, if the baby is born alive (which is to say, not aborted, presumably), and then dies because the mother took an abortion drug. Doing so outside of medical supervision seems like it could be recklessness, and a manslaughter charge might not be completely out of bounds.

    By most people’s understanding, killing a baby which is born alive is murder, after all. I’d be curious to know if the prohibition on prosecuting women for abortions extends to prosecuting women for manslaughter following a failed/attempted abortion. What if the child is born severely disabled following a failed/attempted abortion? Would that be child abuse? Something the mother did, intentionally, caused harm to an actual child, after all, right?

    On the whole, though, I can’t fault prosecutor for (eventually) exercising prosecutorial discretion to only go after cases that are pretty clear violations of the law.

    1. By most people’s understanding, killing a baby which is born alive is murder, after all.

      A fairly ridiculous standard to uphold in a society comfortable with abortion up until that point. As if the born “baby” has any more sentience after tasting oxygen for the first time than the unborn fetus did a couple minutes earlier. I really wish one side or the other would win this fight already just to do away with that kind of ethical inconsistency.

      1. Laws generally work better when they have bright lines that you aren’t supposed to cross.

        “Sentience” does not lend itself to bright lines that would be appropriate for a criminal law. I think the line between “not born” and “born” is a pretty bright line.

        Now, whether you think its the right bright line or not, is a different issue. Perhaps “viability” (which is not a bad choice for bright lines, really) is a better one for this purpose, especially if it is defined as “X weeks of pregnancy” (although calculating exactly when someone become pregnant can be tricky).

        1. Or maybe fences like those around lets say a swimming pool. When those conditions are in place laws like those on trespassing are accepted by all and not jettisoned to score SJW points.

      2. I don’t know if it is quite fair to say that society is comfortable with abortion up to the point of birth. Courts allow bans after, what, 20 weeks? And surveys seem to indicate a lot of discomfort with later term abortions.

  8. I’m getting ads for drones in the sidebar. What does this mean? Am I supposed to do something?

    1. Well, yeah.

      Buy a drone.

      Duh.

    2. It’s a trap!

    3. I have one. I hardly ever use it anymore, and the new ones are so much better.

      1. I’m stuck in the same mindset re: drones that I am every time a new generation of consoles debuts: why buy now when I can wait two years and see how much more awesome things are?!

        1. The upside is that mine has the old firmware. New firmware won’t let you take off in restricted airspace.

          I could go buzz LAX right now if I wanted to (and then end up in jail).

          1. Nobody *needs* outdated firmware.

    4. Two words:

      Woodchipper drone.

  9. Obviously, they should charge the owner of the website where she bought the drug online for murder.

    /derp

  10. So it’s legal for one person to do it but not another. Whew, I thought there was going to be some inconsistency there.

    1. Shhhh!

      If you keep bringing this up, the cognitive dissonance will keep them from a restful sleep…

  11. Georgia Drops Murder Charges Against Kenlissa Jones Since Law Explicitly Forbids Charging Pregnant Women For ‘Unlawful’ Abortion

    But she’s not pregnant any longer, right? Seems that she no longer is covered by the law. Can’t she be charged?

  12. So she took the abortion drug at 5 1/2 months (i.e. 22 weeks) instead of within the first 7 weeks of pregnancy, as the drug is supposed to be administered. (I know ENB says 12 weeks in the linked article, but the FDA has only approved it for up to 7.) Isn’t that the main issue? That she grossly misused this drug and most likely made a well-developed baby suffer.

    Also, in the previous article on this case, ENB stated that “she delivered a live but non-viable baby boy on the way to the hospital, where he died soon thereafter.” I’m reading that as the medical staff decided not to go forward with life-saving efforts. Because a baby at 22 weeks is viable with the right care.

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