Published: Sat, June 29, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Woman Who Was Shot And Lost Her Baby Is Charged With Manslaughter

Woman Who Was Shot And Lost Her Baby Is Charged With Manslaughter

The shooter, Ebony Jemison was initially charged, but escaped jury indictment after a police investigation determined Jones started the fight, and Jemison fired the fatal shot in self-defence. Under the law, which is being challenged in court, a woman may only have an abortion if her life is in danger and the fetus can not survive outside the womb.

It comes after the Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed a bill in May banning abortion in nearly every circumstance - including rape and incest - posing a challenge to Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 supreme court judgment that guaranteed abortion rights across the nation.

Authorities said Jones was responsible for starting the fight that eventually led to the shooting while she was five months pregnant. Victim-blaming contributes to a wildly risky ecosystem for women like Jones who survive violence, only to be both blamed and punished for purportedly behaving in a way that justifies the violence to which they were subjected.

And that law wasn't passed in a vacuum - in a legal first, an Alabama man was granted permission to represent an aborted fetus in court in March in a wrongful death suit against the would-be child's mother, a surreal case the man has admitted is meant to make it "really hard for a woman in Alabama to get access to abortion".

An Alabama woman who was involved in a fight and was shot in the belly has been indicted and could be sent to jail for the death of her unborn baby, while the shooter goes free.

Jones is due to be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail, where she will be held on $50,000 bond.

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However, the office of District Attorney Lynneice O. Washington said there has been no decision on whether to pursue the case against Jones.

She has been remanded into custody, AL.com reported. The law underpins the debate over abortion in that Alabama recognizes a fetus at any stage of development as a "person" for criminal homicide or assaults, with an exception for abortion. But the shot - which Earka Jemison says was aimed at the ground - ricocheted into Jones instead, the mother said.

"All indications and all evidence point to the fact of the victim or the other of the unborn child was the aggressor, she is no longer listed as the victim, the only victim we have here is that unborn child", Reid told WIAT. The Jefferson County, Ala., prosecutor is considering whether to prosecute her.

"This is how people - especially women of colour - are already being punished & having their pregnancies criminalized", the national abortion fund said on Twitter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African-American (and Native American) women have three to four times the risk of dying a pregnancy-related death than white women.

Jones was hospitalized and survived but her fetus did not. "When a five-month pregnant woman initiates a fight and attacks another person, I believe some responsibility lies with her as to any injury to her unborn child". She said hundreds have been prosecuted for running afoul of the state's "chemical endangerment of a child" statute by exposing their embryo or foetus to controlled substances. "And after that, another, for not obtaining adequate prenatal care", the group's executive director Amanda Reyes said.

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