Georgia Says A Fetus Is A Person. The Implications Are Terrifying.

by | Oct 20, 2022 | Politics

Marshae Jones was five months pregnant when she was arrested for being shot in the stomach.It was 2019, and Jones got into a fight in the parking lot of a Dollar General just outside of Birmingham, Alabama. It escalated until a woman pulled out a gun and shot her. After being rushed to the hospital, Jones was in stable condition, but the shooting caused her to miscarry.Jones, then 28 with a young daughter, was arrested. A grand jury returned an indictment for felony manslaughter, stating that Jones “intentionally caused the death” of her fetus “by initiating a fight knowing she was five months pregnant.” She faced 20 years in prison.AdvertisementJones spent time in jail, and her name and mug shot were splashed across front pages as the case drew national attention. But the charge was eventually dropped, in part because Alabama’s manslaughter statute prohibits women from being prosecuted for their pregnancy outcomes. Prosecutors also concluded that pursuing charges against Jones was “not in the best interest of justice.”Vesting fetuses with full legal rights would have unintended and unfair consequences for women like Jones, which prosecutors belatedly realized. But such consequences have been a goal of the anti-abortion movement for years. After this summer’s Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which ended nationwide abortion rights, these efforts could endanger any pregnant person in any state that enacts “fetal personhood” laws.Abortion opponents’ stated motiva …

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