On Tuesday, an Albany, Georgia, woman, Kenlissia Jones, 23, was charged with murderafter she took abortion-inducing drugs to end her pregnancy, reported local officials on the case. Authorities reported that the woman was being held at the Dougherty County Jail on charges of malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug, reported the Associated Press. The case, which is currently under investigation, marks the first time in the state’s history that a woman had been charged with murder for ending her own pregnancy and has opened up wide debate over whether she can escape conviction and avoid jail. (Update: The murder charges against Jones have now been dropped. She is still facing a misdemeanor charge for possessing a dangerous drug.)
As it currently stands, Georgia law strictly forbids authorities from bringing murder charges against women who have ended their own pregnancies, argued Lynn Paltrow, attorney and executive director of the legal group National Advocates for Pregnant Women, in a statement to the AP on Tuesday.
“We don’t believe there is any law in Georgia that allows for the arrest of a woman for the outcome of her pregnancy,” explained Paltrow. She added that she and her legal team would be offering their services to Jones pro bono.
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