Apparently trying to save face after realizing that they had no legal leg to stand on, Georgia is releasing 23-year-old Kenlissia Jones from the Doughterty County Jail, where the black mother to a toddler has been illegally detained for allegedly taking a drug to end her pregnancy. She was facing a possible charge of “malice murder.”
But her nightmare is far from over.
This is the end result of many Republican allegedly “pro-life” laws around the country, and naturally, it ended up violating all kinds of personal liberties and Constitutionally-protected rights, as well as interfering in medical care and making Jones’ toddler suffer. It also sends a message that women can be arrested for being pregnant, which is not exactly an incentive.
National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) said in a statement that it “applauds Dougherty County Prosecutor Gregory W. Edwards’ conclusion that there is no legal authority for charging a pregnant woman with the crime of murder for having terminated her own pregnancy. As the prosecutor explained in this detailed legal analysis released today, no Georgia law permits prosecution of women for murder or related criminal charges based on pregnancy or the outcome of their pregnancies.”
However, as any reasonable person would think, NAPW notes that she never should have been arrested in the first place and as a result of the state’s actions, “Ms. Jones had to endure the trauma of arrest, imprisonment, and the profound violation of her rights to physical liberty as well as medical and personal privacy.” They continued, “It is especially troubling to see a young black mother of a toddler charged with a crime that carries the death penalty.”
Ms. Jones was arrested after seeking care at a hospital, where a social worker turned her in to police for having allegedly tried to give herself an abortion. This is how they do it in Georgia, and not just Georgia, as we pointed out in the first article about Jones’ arrest and illegal detainment, “Anne Bynum in Arkansas was arrested for “concealing a birth”, and “abuse of a corpse” after she took medication to terminate her pregnancy at home. Purvi Patel of Indiana was convicted and is serving 20 years in prison for what Indiana called feticide.”
Not only was she falsely imprisoned, held without bond and her constitutionally-protected rights grossly infringed upon by the eager stupidity of Georgia law enforcement’s agenda-laden inability to understand basic law (a pro-life group was telling them the law did not allow them to do this), but her medical and personal privacy was obscenely violated without her consent.
But the prosecutors aren’t going down so easy. Being forced to release the young mother, they’ve rooted around for anything they can charge her with in what looks to be a daft and transparent effort to avoid being sued for their epic mishandling and personal violations of the young mother, and have landed upon a misdemeanor charge of “possession of a dangerous drug,” among other unnamed possibilities.
Oh, what a thug, you’re thinking. Hardcore drugs? Sure she deserves it. But wait. The drug Georgia prosecutors are charging her as having allegedly possessed is misoprostol, which is not a dangerous drug, according to people who actually know things. That would be the World Health Organization and medical researchers.
Small government Georgia is going to prosecute the single mother of a toddler whom they falsely imprisoned because she allegedly took a drug that is used “safely around the world” for many reasons (obstetric and gynecological — areas about which the Georgia law enforcement must inaccurately fancy themselves as expert as some Republicans in Congress).
NAPW pointed out that the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists oppose threatening women with arrest in relationship to their pregnancies “because it deters women from seeking help and, as a result, undermines maternal, fetal, and child health.”
So the next time a woman needs medical care during her pregnancy, she will probably avoid it if there is any way she could be charged with malice murder, which is exactly the opposite of pro-life.
“Pro-life” apparently excludes women, as we see from Governor Scott Walker’s (R-WI) latest bill, Republicans aren’t making exceptions in their policing of your medical decisions even for the life of the mother or incest. They are all about entitling the father to sue the doctor for ’emotional and psychological distress’ no matter what his relationship with the woman, which Walker’s law allows.
NAPW is calling for the prosecutor to drop all charges, “Because public health, fairness to pregnant women, and fundamental principles of human rights and dignity prohibit the use of state power to arrest and punish women for being pregnant and for the outcomes of their pregnancies, NAPW calls on Mr. Edwards to drop all charges against Ms. Jones.”
Ms. Jones needs a good lawyer and she needs to sue the state, the police officer who arrested her, the prosecutor’s office, and the entity where the social worker is employed. There’s a bounty of things to sue for, and it needs to happen or else these folks are just going to continue making up laws to suit their religious ideology.