BIRMINGHAM, AL. – An Alabama woman who lost her baby due to a fight that led to her being shot was indicted for manslaughter.
The decision was made by a grand jury on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Marshae Jones, 28, was five months pregnant when she was involved in an altercation at a store. The altercation that authorities said had to do with the unborn child’s father became physical and Ebony Jemison, 23, shot her in the stomach multiple times.
The Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney’s Office said, “The grand jury, based on the facts presented, determined that Ms. Jemison acted and self-defense and did not warrant charges against her and that Ms. Jones should face charges for her actions resulting in the death of her unborn child.
The Yellowhammer Fund, an organization the helps women with travel and other costs in order to have access to abortions. Their main client focus is those in Alabama, who has the strictest anti-abortion laws, making it illegal for doctors to perform abortions. “As a reproductive justice fund, we commit ourselves to make sure that Marshae is released from jail on bond, assisting with her legal representation, and working to ensure that she gets justice for the multiple attacks that she has endured,” Yellowhammer Fund representatives said in a written statement.
The Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement that the decision has nothing to do with the anti-abortion law recently passed by the legislature. In addition, they stated that the charges may or may not be charged as manslaughter and they may go with a lesser charge, or not prosecute it at all. “We will take a thorough look at all the facts provided, the applicable laws and reach a decision that we believe will lead to an outcome that is the most just for all the parties involved,” district attorney officials said. “We will announce our decision only after all due diligence has been performed.
Still, pro-choice groups argue that the unborn fetus’ rights outweigh the mother’s rights in the case. Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid said that “the only true victim” was the unborn baby, who was “dependent on its mother to try to keep it from harm”. The community mourns, some for the loss of the fetus, some for the mother, who lost her unborn child, and some for what they feel is the death of women’s rights.
The district attorney’s office officials said in a statement, “This is a truly tragic case, resulting in the death of an unborn child. We feel sympathy for the families involved, including Ms. Jones, who lost her unborn child. The fact that this tragedy was 100 percent avoidable makes this case even more disheartening.”
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