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  • Marshae Jones, indicted on manslaughter charges involving the shooting death of her unborn child, is shown in this booking photo in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.

    Marshae Jones, indicted on manslaughter charges involving the shooting death of her unborn child, is shown in this booking photo in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 July 2019

The woman was indicted by a grand jury for manslaughter on May 1, concluding she intentionally caused the death of her baby in December by starting the fight with the woman who shot her.

Prosecutors in the U.S. state of Alabama dropped charges against a woman who lost her unborn baby in her fifth month of pregnancy when she was shot during a quarrel.

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“It is the appropriate decision, both for our client and for the state of Alabama,” said Attorney Mark White, who represents Marshae Jones. 

The woman was indicted by a grand jury for manslaughter on May 1, concluding she intentionally caused the death of her baby in December by starting the fight with the woman who shot her. The same jury declined to charge her as she acted in self-defense. 

After the case was brought to the national spotlight due to Alabama’s recent blanket abortion ban, Lynneice Washington, the district attorney for the Bessemer division of Jefferson County, announced that she was dismissing the case and that no further legal action would be brought.

“This will help Marshae continue to heal from this tragic event and work to rebuild her life in a positive and productive way,” Jones’ attorney added, lauding Washington’s decision, who referred to the case as “disturbing and heartbreaking.”

Alabama is among 38 states that define the unborn as persons who can be victims of homicides and assaults, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In May, Alabama passed a law banning all abortions at any time, including those in cases of rape or incest. Those performing abortions would be committing a felony, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison, although a woman who receives an abortion would not be held criminally liable.

The Alabama law will take effect in six months. The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups say it violates the 1973 federal protection of abortions during the first trimester.

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