In Alabama, a black woman is facing criminal fees after being shot within the belly and having a miscarriage. The story has drawn national interest and outrage from reproductive rights businesses who argue that the incident is a disturbing example of the mistreatment and criminalization of low-profits pregnant ladies of color.
On Wednesday, Marshae Jones, a 27-yr-antique woman from Birmingham, changed into taken into police custody after being indicted in Jefferson County on a manslaughter charge. She is presently being held on a $50,000 bond.
In December, Jones — then 5 months pregnant — were given into an altercation with a 23-yr-antique woman outside of a shop. The lady, Ebony Jemison, pulled out a gun and shot Jones in the belly. Jones miscarried shortly after.
According to a document from Al.Com, police, to begin with, charged Jemison with manslaughter over the capturing. But a jury declined to indict her, saying that Jones initiated the altercation and that Jemison become performing in self-protection whilst she shot at Jones.
Local police argued that Jones deserved the blame no longer best for taking pictures but additionally for not removing herself from the scenario earlier. Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid said that Jones allegedly “initiated and pressed the fight,” consistent with Al.Com.
“Let’s now not lose sight that the unborn child is the victim right here,’’ Reid stated. “She had no preference in being delivered unnecessarily into combat in which she was counting on her mother for protection.” Alabama is certainly one of 38 states with a fetal murder regulation that acknowledges a fetus as a potential victim of a crime in opposition to a pregnant female.
When the indictment was mentioned on Wednesday, it straight away raised questions about why the female who changed into shot became the one charged. It’s no longer the first time that Alabama has been inside the news for pursuing arguable criminal charges against a female of shade: In 2018, Jacqueline Dixon, a black lady from Selma, become charged with homicide after capturing her abusive husband in self-defense. Media insurance of Dixon’s case noted that she had now not been protected by means of Alabama’s “Stand Your Ground” self-protection law, and local police stated that Dixon did now not are seeking regular enforcement of a safety order towards her estranged husband. A jury declined to indict Dixon later that yr.
Based at the records that has been launched thus far, advocates argue that Jones’s ordeal, in a few methods, highlights any other trouble: the methods that moms and expecting ladies — specifically black girls — address what a 2012 New York Times Magazine article referred to as the “criminalization of ‘terrible moms,’” the usage of the justice system to prosecute ladies for such things as miscarriages as a result of drug misuse. In different cases, girls have confronted crook costs after the demise of their youngsters in accidents, or for inducing their very own abortions. In Alabama, advocates word that those types of prosecutions are mainly frequent, and they fear that they might boom in addition due to a brand new (however not yet implemented) regulation banning most abortions inside the state.