An Alabama woman has been charged with manslaughter in the death of her unborn baby, who was killed when the woman was shot in the stomach while pregnant. However, the person who shot her has had all charges dismissed.
Marshae Jones of Birmingham was five months pregnant when she got into an altercation at a Dollar General store with a second woman, Ebony Jemison, in December 2018, according to AL.com. First responders rushed Jones to UAB Hospital, but she lost the baby.
Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter, but the charges were dropped after a grand jury failed to indict her. Instead, Jones was charged with manslaughter, even though she didn’t fire the gun that killed her own unborn child.
Authorities had concluded that the pregnant mom was responsible for the baby’s death because she “initiated and continued the fight,” which was allegedly linked to the baby’s father. They reasoned that Jemison was acting in self-defense when she shot Jones, according to Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid.
“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,” Reid said. ““[The baby] had no choice in being brought unnecessarily into a fight where she was relying on her mother for protection."
Jones was taken into custody Wednesday and will be transferred to Jefferson County Jail, where she’ll be held on $50,000 bond.
The indictment has caused an uproar on Twitter, where many consider it an assault on women’s rights and are drawing parallels to recent legislation outlawing abortion in several states.
A handful of vocal celebrities are leading the charge, with actress Patricia Arquette calling the situation “unjust” and Alyssa Milano asking “Is this real life?!”
Marshae Jones was pregnant when she was shot in the stomach while in a fight with another woman over the babies father. The fetus died. Now SHE is being charged with Murder. These anti abortion laws are unjust. She must not be charged. https://t.co/y5E3szVHzX— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) June 27, 2019
In Alabama—a woman whose unborn baby was killed in a 2018 shooting has now been indicted in the death of the baby. Charges against the shooter were dismissed.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 27, 2019
He shot her. Killed the baby. And they charged her and dismissed the charges on him.
IS THIS REAL LIFE?! https://t.co/iNoPl18WzY
A few other stars known for speaking their minds on women’s issues — Sarah Silverman and Busy Phillips — were left “speechless” by the news.
Speechless. OUR COUNTRY IS NOT OK. https://t.co/Ff2o0jaPl0— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) June 27, 2019
This is so horrifying. I am truly speechless. https://t.co/nwnuWzJM5f— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) June 27, 2019
Ilyse Hogue, a leading abortion rights activist and president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, tweeted, “This what 2019 looks like for a pregnant woman of color without means in a red state.”
Today, Marshae Jones was indicted for homicide when someone shot her in the stomach while she was pregnant, ending her pregnancy. They said she "started it." The shooter went free. This what 2019 looks like for a pregnant woman of color without means in a red state. This is now.— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) June 27, 2019
Feminist author Evette Dionne tweeted that Jones “could’ve died,” but authorities who are “drunk with power” put the blame on the expecting mom instead.
Marshae Jones could’ve died, but the county’s police lieutenant says “that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby.” These people are drunk with power and it is only going to get worse.— Evette Dionne 🏁 (@freeblackgirl) June 27, 2019
But it wasn’t just women who weighed in. Matt Ortego, a digital professional who was once served on the Democratic National Committee, remarked, “Literally blame the victim.” And former NFL player Wade Davis II wrote, “The most disrespected person in America, is the Black Woman.”
"Marshae Jones, a 27-year-old Birmingham woman, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on a manslaughter charge… [She] didn’t fire the shots that killed her unborn baby girl, authorities say she initiated the dispute that led to the gunfire."— Matt Ortega (@MattOrtega) June 26, 2019
Literally blame the victim. https://t.co/9o8LTiCM1Z
"The most disrespected woman in America, is the Black Woman. The most un-protected person in America is the Black Woman. The most neglected person in America, is the Black Woman" Malcolm X #MarshaeJones is our sisters name.... https://t.co/mSWa4BymNY— Wade Davis II (@Wade_Davis28) June 27, 2019
On May 15, Alabama’s governor signed a bill that would severely limit women’s rights to legal abortion.
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