Massachusetts Woman in Self-Abortion Case Won’t Face Murder Charge

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 29, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts Woman in Self-Abortion Case Won’t Face Murder Charge Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 29
, 2007

Lawrence, MA ( — A Massachusetts woman who was arrested after she used an anti-ulcer drug to kill her unborn child won’t face a murder charge. Amber Abreu, 18, used the drug that is sometimes misused by abortion advocates to cause abortions even though its maker warns it shouldn’t be utilized for that purpose.

Abreu was indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on charges of illegally producing a miscarriage and prosecutors considered charged her with the murder of the baby.

After using the drug, which failed to kill the child immediately, Abreu gave birth to a baby girl January 6 who weighed just 1.25 pounds. Despite the delivery, baby Ashley Abreu was unable to be saved and she died four days later at a local Boston hospital.

Abortion is legal up to the 24th week of pregnancy in Massachusetts and medical officials determined that baby was 25 weeks along at the time of birth.

The illegal miscarriage charge is a felony that involves the use of a drug to end a pregnancy without an abortion and includes as much as seven years in prison.

Police say the teen admitted to using the ulcer drug Cytotec, which is also known as misoprostol. Abreu told police she got the drugs from a friend who had visited the Dominican Republic, where she is from, and that she took them over a period of three days.

Abortion practitioners have also misused misoprostol, also called Cytotec, to cause abortions. The maker of that drug, Searle, has issued warnings in both the United States and Australia that the misuse is dangerous for women.

Some abortion practitioners engage in what is known as "off-label" use because it has been found to be relatively effective in producing contractions.