Mississippi Court Rules Against Mother Using Abortion to Cover Up Incest

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 3, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mississippi Court Rules Against Mother Using Abortion to Cover Up Incest Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 3
, 2007

Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled against a woman who tried to use abortion as a way to cover up her husbands crime of incest against the couple’s 13 year-old daughter. The woman tried to use the state’s parental consent on abortion law as a defense in her case, but court’s ruled otherwise.

In 2004, Charlotte Sherron was sentenced to three years in prison and two years of post-release supervision for trying go hide her husband’s crime of statutory rape. She took her daughter to an abortion facility after her daughter became pregnant from the incest.

Sherron appealed the decision but the Mississippi Court of Appeals in 2006 unanimously upheld the conviction. It said helping her daughter get an abortion obstructed justice and destroyed the baby, whose DNA could have helped convict her husband.

Attorneys for Sherron appealed that decision to the state’s high court but the Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear the appeal. That upheld the lower court’s ruling in the case.

In the 8-0 appellate court decision, former Judge Leslie Southwick wrote that while the case raised the question of criminalizing a "parent’s decision to consent to a minor child’s abortion," Sherron’s attorneys waived that question at the trial court level.

According to an AP report, Appeals Court Judge Larry Roberts wrote that there was no constitutional conflict and the court should say so.

"In this case, Sherron’s conviction did not restrict her daughter’s right to an abortion, it established a restriction on Sherron’s right to conceal the fact that her husband committed statutory rape of her own daughter," Roberts said.

Judge Roberts wrote that he could not see how "prohibiting a parent from concealing the fact that their spouse committed statutory rape against their minor child amounts to a substantial obstacle to that minor child’s right to an abortion."

"I find no constitutional protection that effectively immunizes Sherron’s behavior," he concluded.

Pro-life groups in several states have said that abortions are more frequently used to hide cases of sexual abuse and statutory rape.