Alabama woman Marshae Jones was arrested after a grand jury issued an indictment that says she intentionally caused the death of her fetus by initiating a fight while five months pregnant.

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Marshae Jones, the mother. Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office/AP/ TIME Magazine

The Prosecution of the Alabama Woman

27-year-old Marshae Jones was five months pregnant when she got into a fight with a co-worker, 23-year-old Ebony Jemison back in December 2018. According to police investigations, Jemison was losing the fight when she pulled out a gun and fired at Jones.

The bullet then subsequently killed Jones’ five-month-old fetus. Jemison was originally charged with manslaughter, but a Jefferson County grand jury decided not to indict her. However, on the 26th of June, Jones was arrested for manslaughter charge instead, after a grand jury indicted her.

On Monday, Jones’ attorney filed a motion to dismiss, saying that the case used a “flawed and twisted rationale.” She went on to say that “the State of Alabama has charged a new theory of criminal liability that does not lawfully exist.”

Charges were Later Dropped

Come Wednesday, prosecutors announced that they were dropping the charges. 

Jones’ prosecution has sparked a debate over the tightening of the regulations on pregnancy, especially in states trying to block abortions. Critics, including the state’s American Civil Liberties Union director, emphasized that the decision shows state officials are “criminalizing pregnancy.”

Jefferson County District Attorney Lynneice Washington issued a statement saying that “there are no winners in this case, only losers in the sad ordeal.”

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via AP

Earlier in May, Alabama State senators voted 15-6 to approve HB 314, which classifies an abortion gotten at any stage of pregnancy as a felony crime. Plus, the doctor who performs the abortion could receive a sentence of 10-99 years in prison, though the woman who seeks the abortion will not be punished.

The passing of this bill is not for the woman or her health, as so many would like to believe. It is a blatant stepping stone towards overturning Roe V. Wade, the Supreme Court case legalizing abortion.

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via Julie Bennett/Getty Images/ CNN

The states of Georgia, Kentucky, Mississipi, and Ohio have all also recently approved abortion bans that will make it illegal for women to seek abortions once the fetus’ heartbeat is detected, which occurs at about six weeks into pregnancy.