In 2018, 27-year-old Marshae Jones was shot by 23-year-old Ebony Jemison.
Jones was pregnant at the time, and her unborn child died as a result of her injuries.
Now, she is being charged by the Jefferson County grand jury on charges of manslaughter. Charges against the shooter were dropped.
This story has caused huge waves of outrage on the internet, and has reopened concerns over Alabama's fetal personhood laws.
Just In: A woman whose unborn baby was killed in a 2018 Pleasant Grove shooting has now been indicted in the death.… https://t.co/EU6c7H70k3— carol robinson (@carol robinson)1561587378.0
Clearly placing the well-being of an unborn fetus above that of the living woman who was shot, Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid explained that the victim of the shooting was to blame because she initiated the conflict.
"The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby. It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby."
A pregnant woman was shot in the stomach during a fight. The shooting caused her pregnancy to end. She has been ind… https://t.co/dHpNqNiv0x— NAF (@NAF)1561588622.0
Amanda Reyes, executive Director of The Yellowhammer Fund, a network which helps women access reproductive services in Alabama, believes these charges are a violation of justice:
"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.
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."
"Marshae Jones, a 27-year-old Birmingham woman, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on a manslaughter cha… https://t.co/KwqhTZUUBn— Matt Ortega (@Matt Ortega)1561593506.0
The two women were reportedly in a conflict surrounding the father of Jones' unborn child. The fight culminated in Jones being shot, but Police Lt. Reid wants to be clear the only victim of the shooting was the fetus:
"Let's not lose sight that the unborn baby is the victim here. She had no choice in being brought unnecessarily into a fight where she was relying on her mother for protection."
“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,’’ Pleasant Grove police Lt. Danny… https://t.co/xCtNNw8k11— Mari Uyehara (@Mari Uyehara)1561591800.0
Meanwhile, the charges against Ebony Jemison, who was initially charged with manslaughter (not for shooting Jones, but for hurting Jones' fetus), were dropped after a grand jury failed to indict her.
Twitter couldn't believe the insanity of the entire situation.
This case makes no sense. https://t.co/vnwkEe8QWu— Jane Coaston (@Jane Coaston)1561591005.0
This woman was shot in the stomach and suffered a pregnancy loss but the police statement was that “the only true v… https://t.co/YKisbGleI5— Irin Carmon (@Irin Carmon)1561591268.0
Under Alabama's new laws, which define an unborn fetus as a human person, the rights of the mother become a secondary concern.
when personhood laws are applied like this, pregnant women dehumanized to the extent that any bodily harm they suff… https://t.co/XtCQMgXe1h— Callie Beusman (@Callie Beusman)1561593958.0
under personhood, any act you do while pregnant that could potentially endanger a fetus — driving recklessly, takin… https://t.co/JCaHsAxku2— Callie Beusman (@Callie Beusman)1561594128.0
These laws can even lead to insane scenarios where the victim of a shooting is charged with the manslaughter of her own baby.
An Alabama woman has been indicted for manslaughter because she allegedly initiated the dispute that led *someone e… https://t.co/TKJqUVrwHl— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern)1561594049.0
Police and prosecutors are already punishing women who are allegedly responsible for their own miscarriages. It wil… https://t.co/lWFQIHQgT2— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern)1561594223.0
Reyes and the Yellowhammer Fund will be helping Jones fight her legal battle:
"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."
consistently, the legal system seeks to ensure that someone is punished. it’s not about safety or justice or accoun… https://t.co/TFUPT4z0gd— Jessica Raven (@Jessica Raven)1561592803.0
The most interesting distinction drawn out of this case is that the woman who shot her was *not indicted* by a gran… https://t.co/WcU3JAmJ1O— feminist next door (@feminist next door)1561593204.0
She was shot in the stomach during a fight and indicted for manslaughter. Fetal personhood is here. Please note the… https://t.co/ckMI7oYzVA— feminist next door (@feminist next door)1561592834.0
To many people, this situation feels like a storyline from a dystopian television show like The Handmaid's Tale.
@RawStory Please, please let me wake up from this dystopian nightmare.— State of Shock (@State of Shock)1561611718.0
@RawStory I know it’s Alabama but is this really real? Jeez— jonathan fontenot (@jonathan fontenot)1561624488.0
@RawStory We effectively live in Gilead.— Nona No trump (@Nona No trump)1561596136.0
@RawStory https://t.co/qnst380FN1— Prince of Whales (@Prince of Whales)1561643800.0
Many on Twitter could hardly contain their outrage.
@RawStory https://t.co/uLO5tWOWsj— Cristel (@Cristel)1561609900.0
@RawStory https://t.co/uTdQ30IedO— JaeJay (@JaeJay)1561617410.0
Without changes at a legislative level, the rights of pregnant women in Alabama will continue to be placed secondary to the rights of their unborn fetuses.