An Alabama woman who allegedly started a fight that led to her unborn baby’s death asked for the charges against her to be dismissed Monday.
Her lawyer Mark White said it makes “no rational sense” to charge his client with manslaughter in the death of her unborn baby girl, AL.com reports.
Last week, a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Marshae Jones, 27, of Alabama, on manslaughter charges in the death of her unborn baby girl. Jones was five months pregnant, which means her unborn daughter was nearly fully formed and quickly approaching viability.
Police said Jones initiated a fight with Ebony Jemison, 23, in December 2018 in Pleasant Grove, Alabama, that led to her daughter’s death, according to 7 News. Police said Jones continued to fight Jemison without regarding the potential harm to her unborn baby girl.
Police said Jemison shot Jones in the stomach, which caused her unborn daughter to die. A grand jury dismissed the charges against Jemison after police said she shot Jones in self defense, Newsweek reports.
On Monday, White asked the court to dismiss the charges against Jones, saying she is a shooting victim who lost her baby as a result of an “unforseeable injury,” according to the report.
“The charges against Marshae are based on a flawed and contorted theory of criminal liability that simply does not exist under the law,” White said. “We are asking the Court to dismiss this unreasonable, unfounded, and unjust indictment with prejudice and without delay.”
He suggested that local law enforcement may have “personal or political reasons” for prosecuting Jones.
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Abortion activists have lobbed similar criticisms at local officials. These activists have been pointing to a new Alabama law that bans abortions, though it has nothing to do with the Jefferson County case and does not allow women to be prosecuted for aborting their unborn babies.
Jezebel reports local District Attorney Lynniece Washington pushed back against abortion activists’ claims Thursday.
“Foremost, it should be stated that this is a truly tragic case, resulting in the death of an unborn child,” she said in a statement. “We feel sympathy for the families involved, including Ms. Jones, who lost her unborn child. The fact that this tragedy was 100% avoidable makes this case even more disheartening.”
She said she has not decided yet whether to pursue the charges against Jones. Washington had harsh words, however, for the activists who have been calling her office with nasty messages.
“For those of you who called my office, and disrupted, cursed, disrespected, because I was not present—I was not in the state, shame, shame on you,” she said. “But I took an oath to serve. I am a black woman in black skin. So, don’t tell me how I don’t appreciate the sensitivity of a woman and the rights of women.”
It remains to be seen whether the charges will be pursued or Jones convicted:
As the local news reported:
The Montgomery Advertiser on Friday reported Jones’ charge appears to contradict a portion of Alabama’s Criminal Code. Though the code does include “fetal homicide” language, which defines an “unborn child in utero” as a human being, regardless of viability, the code also states that the prosecution of “any woman with respect to her unborn child” should not be permitted under criminal homicide charges like manslaughter.
Abortion advocacy groups have expressed outrage at the charge, claiming it is proof that pro-life advocates want to oppress women.
“The state of Alabama has proven yet again that the moment a person becomes pregnant their sole responsibility is to produce a live, healthy baby and that it considers any action a pregnant person takes that might impede in that live birth to be a criminal act,’’ Yellowhammer Fund executive director Amanda Reyes said in a statement last week.
Reyes speculated that someday women also might be punished for having a drink while pregnant or failing to get adequate prenatal care.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The pro-life movement has no interest whatsoever in punishing or oppressing mothers. Many pro-life leaders are post-abortive women and men themselves who understood only too late the lies of the abortion industry. They came to the pro-life movement understanding that unborn babies deserve to be protected and their mothers deserve to know the truth that the abortion industry lies to and manipulates them for profit.
Many also recognize that women frequently are pressured or even forced to abort their unborn babies by abusive parents or partners.
What’s more, the pro-life movement historically has opposed punishing mothers for abortions. When abortions were illegal prior to Roe v. Wade, women were not prosecuted for having abortions and current abortion restrictions, such as the ban on partial-birth abortions, do not punish women either.