An Alabama woman has been arrested and charged with manslaughter over the death of her unborn child after she was shot in the stomach during an altercation.
What We Know:
- Marshae Jones, 27, was indicted on Wednesday by a Jefferson County grand jury, according to AL.com. The charge stems from a 2018 altercation at a Dollar General while she was five months pregnant. Jones and a 23-year-old woman allegedly fought about the unborn child’s father. It is unclear who started the argument, but police ultimately blamed Jones, who was shot in the stomach.
- Police filed manslaughter charges against the shooter, Ebony Jemison, but the charge was later dismissed by a grand jury. The police claim Jemison was defending herself against Jones, who is being held on a $50,000 bond.
- “When a five-months-pregnant woman initiates a fight and attacks another person, I believe some responsibility lies with her as to any injury to her unborn child,” said Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid.
- Advocates are concerned that the charges against Jones are too close to the legal theory of “fetal personhood” or granting complete rights and protections to an unborn child. Alabama lawmakers have embraced this concept and based their near-total ban on abortions on the concept. An Alabama judge awarded an aborted fetus the right to sue the clinic that performed the procedure in March, according to Rolling Stone.
- There have been other cases where pregnant women have been charged for drug use during pregnancy or a car accident that results in the death of a fetus.
The Yellowhammer Fund, which provides funding for abortion access in Alabama claimed to be working to get Jones out of jail and provide her with a lawyer. The organization tweeted her story and shared a message about losing a pregnancy.
“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby.”
SHE WAS SHOT IN THE STOMACH.
This is the end result of fetal personhood laws combined w the racism & misogyny fundamental to US policing. Misogynoir pure & simple. https://t.co/m04B5nPOvN
— Verónica Bayetti Flores (@veroconplatanos) June 27, 2019