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Woman shot, charged with baby’s death

A PREGNANT woman from Alabama has been charged with manslaughter over the death of her unborn child after she was shot in the stomach during an argument with another woman.

Marshae Jones, 28, was five months pregnant when she got into an altercation with another woman, Ebony Jemison, in December outside a shop in Pleasant Grove, near Birmingham, AL.com reported.

Ms Jones was later taken to UAB Hospital, but the unborn baby did not survive the shooting.

Police blamed Ms Jones for initiating the argument, which they said was about the father of the fetus.

Ms Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter, but the charge against her was dismissed after the grand jury failed to indict her.

"All indications and all the evidence points to the fact that the victim, or the mother of the unborn child, was the aggressor, and she's no longer listed as a victim," Pleasant Grove Police Lieutenant Danny Reid told WIAT television in Birmingham shortly after the 4 December shooting.

"The only victim we have here is that unborn child," Reid said.

The five-month fetus was "dependent on its mother to try to keep it from harm, and she shouldn't seek out unnecessary physical altercations," he added.

Ms Jefferson will be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail, where she will be held on $50,000 bond.

 

The case raised significant concern among pro-choice groups, who say it shows how the state's restrictive abortion laws are now being used to target pregnant women.

The Yellowhammer Fund, a member of the National Network of Abortion Funds which helps women access abortion services, put out a statement opposing the move.

"The state of Alabama has proven yet again that the moment a person becomes pregnant their sole responsibility is to produce a live, healthy baby and that it considers any action a pregnant person takes that might impede in that live birth to be a criminal act,'' Executive Director Amanda Reyes said.

"Today, Marshae Jones is being charged with manslaughter for being pregnant and getting shot while engaging in an altercation with a person who had a gun. Tomorrow, it will be another black woman, maybe for having a drink while pregnant. And after that, another, for not obtaining adequate prenatal care.

"We commit ourselves to making 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."

Last month, the state of Alabama passed a bill restricting abortions in almost all cases, including rape and incest.


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