A mother in Pennsylvania who gave her pregnant daughter an abortion pill obtained on-line from Europe has been found guilty of breaking state law and has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
The woman, Jennifer Ann Whalen of Washingtonville, is a 39-year old single mother, and she obtained the abortion pill for the sole purpose of ending the pregnancy of her 16-year-old daughter. The daughter did not want to continue the pregnancy. The pill in question came from Europe and is designed to induce miscarriage.
The daughter took the pill and then experienced intense cramps and bleeding. Whalen rushed her daughter to the hospital and it was then that the matter became a criminal offense.
Pennsylvania State law says that all abortions must be administered by physicians, and Whalen — who works as a nursing home aide — is not considered a physician. Whalen argued that her daughter did not have health insurance to cover a hospital abortion and that the nearest clinic was 74 miles away in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Montour County Court of Common Pleas sentenced Whalen to prison, as well as a $1,000 fine and 40 hours of community service. According to the report in Reuters, the sentence could have carried a fine of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Pro-choice advocates have long argued that as new abortion laws are passed, scenarios like Whalens will become all too common. Outlawing abortions will not end abortions — they will end safe abortions. The internet has made it easy to purchase perfectly legal drugs and have them shipped right to the home, drugs like the one Whalen found and bought for her underage daughter. As these laws pass, the ways and means of terminating a pregnancy will evolve and they will not always be safe, or sound.
As reported by The Inquisitr, a young woman who got pregnant took to a crowdsourcing site to raise funds for the the abortion. And abortion is, as always, a hot button topic in politics as midterm elections are coming up, and the political grandstanding to gain favor from the electorate always seems to include abortion, whether for and against.
While the Whalen case is soon to become the norm, pro-life advocates warn that they don’t want to see the mothers punished. They seek only to go after the “abortionists.” The following is taken from a statement by Priests for Life.
“We’ve never called for punishment for the women who have abortions. To be brief, we consider the abortion to be a worse punishment than anyone deserves. What we want is to see the abortionists in jail, where they belong.
“The pro-life position has always been that women are victimized by abortion. In fact, we have repeatedly rejected the suggestion that women should be put in jail, much less executed. Another aspect of this is the fact that before decriminalization, women weren’t indicted for having illegal abortions.”
But in this instance, the “bad guy” here is a mother helping her daughter, and not some nameless, faceless doctor in a dimly lit clinic working out of the back alleys of New Jersey. There is no clear line in the abortion issue, and it is a gray area for those watching from the sidelines.
As the argument continues to rage, at-home abortions, whether by pills or other more-heinous methods, will become all too common, and more lives will be lost because it. Jennifer Whalen is losing two years of her life. Her daughter didn’t want the pregnancy and a mother did what she felt was right. But in this issue, there is no right.
[Image courtesy of Google]