Last week, a 20-year-old woman in New York City was arrested on charges of “self-induced abortion” and faces first-degree misdemeanor charges. Initial news reports indicate that she intentionally caused the miscarriage/abortion of her 24-week fetus. The woman disposed of the fetus in what was probably the only way she could think of: wrapped in plastic bags and placed in the trash receptacle of her apartment building.
The prosecution of this woman echoes similar cases in Idaho, Massachusetts and South Carolina. In spite of ever-increasing restrictions, abortion is legal through the second-trimester throughout the United States, although it is inaccessible to many women. Yet if women safely end their pregnancies without medical supervision, they face criminal penalties.