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A Mother Was Sentenced To Jail Time For Ordering Abortion Pill Online For Daughter

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A Washingtonville, PA, mother has been sentenced to 9 to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to illegally purchasing and administering abortifacients to her teenage daughter.

Jennifer Whalen’s case is unique because, according to the Montour County district attorney, it is “not about pro-life or pro-choice.”

Whalen’s nightmare began in 2012, when her teenage daughter came to her for help. She was expecting and, after taking a few days to contemplate her options, asked Whalen to help her end the pregnancy.

The concerned mother began researching possible options, but clinics were over 70 miles away. At the time, Whalen had no health benefits and was sharing one car with her husband.

Then, the 39-year-old  began researching abortifacients online, searching for a home solution. She ordered a medication containing misoprostol and mifepristone, alleging that she never realized the purchase was illegal.

When the medicine arrived, Whalen and her daughter studied the directions together before the pills were administered. The teen began experiencing severe cramps and bleeding, so Whalen drove her to the hospital. There, she reported the medicine dosage so doctors could treat her daughter accurately.

Whalen’s daughter miscarried, and the woman alleges that staff at the hospital said nothing about the illegality of the drugs. After the pair left, the emergency room doctor reported Whalen to Child Protective Services. Soon after, the police used a warrant to search Whalen’s house for the medication.

During Whalen’s case, Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren made a statement arguing that this case is about Whalen’s decision to purchase and administer drugs to her daughter without a medical license.

According to Warren,

Allowing individuals to practice medicine or dispense pharmaceuticals without the necessary licenses and knowledge is a blatant violation of the laws of Pennsylvania and a source of great potential harm to our citizens.

Whalen’s decision resulted in an emergency trip to the hospital over complications. Warren says that parents endangering their children will always be prosecuted.

She said,

While it is always important to encourage and engage in open and free discussion regarding significant social and political issues…this case is about endangering the welfare of a child through the unauthorized practice of medicine and pharmacy.

In addition to Whalen’s jail sentence, Judge Gary Norton also gave her 40 hours of community service. Whalen will remain on probation for one year.

via New York Times, Photo Courtesy: Planned Parenthood

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