A North Dakota woman who allegedly considered a late-term abortion but drowned her newborn in a bathtub instead pleaded not guilty to murder charges Wednesday.
WDAY News reports Ginny Lubitz, 36, of West Fargo, is charged with murder and attempted murder for allegedly drowning her newborn child on May 5.
According to court documents, an autopsy of the baby “indicated an apparent live birth” and determined the cause of death to be “drowning from being placed face down in the bathtub.” A toxicology report also showed amphetamine and methamphetamine in the baby’s body, the report states.
Police said Lubitz planned to have an abortion but later believed she had a miscarriage. Months later, she realized she was still pregnant, according to police. They found searches on her phone about late-term abortions, suggesting that she considered ending her baby’s life that way.
Here’s more from the report:
She told police she didn’t know she was in labor May 5 and took a bath to ease stomach pain and fell asleep in the tub, court papers stated.
She said when she woke up, her stomach felt tight and as she leaned over the edge of the tub she gave birth within a few second, court papers stated.
A web history of her phone showed a search at about 12:20 p.m. for a website about pushing during childbirth. Older searches from February and March showed searches relating to abortion and terminating late-term pregnancies. When asked about the searches, Lubitz said they were for a relative who was pregnant, court papers stated.
According to police, on May 5, two friends of Lubitz found her in the bathroom covered with blood and her newborn child face down in the bathtub in about an inch of water. Police said Lubitz told her friends not to try to resuscitate the baby because the infant was not breathing at birth.
Reports do not indicate if the infant was a boy or girl.
Infanticide, like abortion, is a horrific problem across the world. Earlier this week, a Virginia woman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a very similar case. Allegedly, Vanessa Danielle Poteat, 26, of Ringgold, killed her newborn son by drowning him in a bathtub in 2014 and then hid his body. She faces up to 21 years in prison.
Horrifying tragedies like these can be prevented. All 50 states have safe haven laws to protect babies from abandonment and infanticide. These laws allow mothers in crisis to leave their newborns in a safe environment, such as a hospital or fire station, without questions or repercussions, as long as there are no signs of abuse.
If you or someone you know would like more information about relinquishing a newborn child, please call 1-866-99BABY1 or go to www.SafeHavenLaw.com.