Kenlissa Jones case: Murder charge against woman who took abortion pill dropped.

Prosecutor Drops Murder Charge Against Woman Who Took Abortion Pill

Prosecutor Drops Murder Charge Against Woman Who Took Abortion Pill

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June 10 2015 11:27 AM

Prosecutor Drops Murder Charge Against Woman Who Took Abortion Pill

108294094-tens-of-thousands-of-anti-abortion-demonstrators-march
A crowd of anti-abortion demonstrators march in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Wednesday morning, prosecutors dropped the murder charge against Kenlissia Jones for terminating her own pregnancy. County District Attorney Greg Edwards declared that he had the charges dismissed after discovering that, under current Georgia law, "criminal prosecution of a pregnant woman for her own actions against her unborn child does not seem permitted." Edwards noted, however, that he would "continue to review the matter thoroughly and consider any sound, legal charges."

Jones, a 23-year-old Georgia resident, was charged with malice murder on Saturday after taking an abortion pill she procured online. The pill, Cytotec (or Misoprostol), is only safe for women in their first trimester of pregnancy. But Jones was over five months pregnant, and the pill caused her to deliver her non-viable fetus live, in the back of a car on the way to the hospital. The fetus died shortly thereafter. Had Jones' prosecution for murder continued, she may have faced the death penalty or life in prison.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues.