A woman in the Southwest Georgia town of Albany has been charged with malice murder after taking an abortion drug that resulted in the death of her five-and-half-month old fetus.
Kenlissa Jones was charged with malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug. She allegedly purchased the drug Cytotec via an online pharmacy located in Canada. Shortly after taking the drug, Jones was on the way to a local hospital when she delivered the fetus.
Rico Riggins, who is a brother of Ms. Jones, said:
“At that point we didn’t even know she was pregnant. And so my first real reaction was like, why she keeping it away from us.?Once she took those pills, from the way I’m understanding it, she was in a world of hurt for a while.”
Jones is being held at a local jail without bond.
Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards said he will present the case against Jones to a grand jury, and that both state and federal law have to be taken into consideration.
Under Georgia law, no abortions are authorized after the first trimester unless the procedure is performed in a licensed hospital, a licensed ambulatory surgical center, or a health facility which is licensed as an abortion facility by the Department of Community Health.
As a resident of Georgia, what I find most disturbing about this case are not the actions of Ms. Jones, whom I personally believe had every right to determine the course of her reproductive health. No, what I find most galling is the fact that Georgia, like so many states in this country which are controlled by the Republican Party, feels the need to involve itself in the most private and personal decision any woman can possibly face.
It is also not lost on me that the vast majority of the Georgia General Assembly–or as we often call them “the yearly gathering of fools”–is mostly male. Yes, what a great idea it is to let a bunch of white men determine what the law should be for women who are pregnant.
The GOP loves to talk about how it wants to expand freedom for everyone. Everyone, that is, except women.