"Is This Our New Reality?"

[Content Note: War on agency; reproductive rights.]

Robin Marty: "Mom Charged For Helping Daughter Obtain Illegal Abortion: Is This Our New Reality?"
Pennsylvania mother Jennifer Whalen is being charged with multiple crimes after allegedly purchasing drugs off the internet and giving them to her then 16-year-old pregnant daughter, who wanted an abortion. Whalen said she purchased the drugs after being unable to find a clinic close enough to have a legal abortion and not wanting to take her daughter out of state to obtain one (based on her location, the likely nearest clinic would have been in New York state).

Whalen has been charged with "felony count of medical consultation and judgment and misdemeanor charges of unlawful acts – not licensed as a pharmacist, endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault," according to one news report. The charges themselves are horrifying — after all, helping your daughter end a pregnancy she doesn't want surely isn't "endangering the welfare of a child" or "simple assault" any more than forcing her to continue a pregnancy against her will would be. What is just as disturbing is the fact that the termination occurred in January of 2012, but the complaint wasn't issued until December of 2013, nearly two years later.

Why such a delay? According to National Right to Life News, which accesses a behind paywall article about the charges, "[I]t took nearly two years to file charges because the case was unusual and investigators had to research the drugs involved and other elements of the situation."

In other words, they had to work to find something to charge her with.
Read the whole thing here. This is what it looks like when a nation allows a federal right to be chipped away in state legislatures, leaving women et. al. with the ostensible right to abortion but no meaningful access and legal vulnerability via a patchwork of arbitrary laws.

Once again, I want to observe that Robin Marty is one of the most invaluable activists writing on reproductive rights in the US today. If you have a moment, you can thank her for her intrepid, indispensable, and brilliant reporting here.

Thank you, Robin.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus