The Essex, Massachusetts district attorney has announced that a woman who was charged two months ago with illegally inducing an abortion by taking anti-ulcer pills will not face homicide charges. Massachusetts law makes it illegal to seek or perform an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy; anyone who terminates a pregnancy after 24 weeks may face homicide charges. Though the fetus was estimated to be about 25 weeks old, prosecutors doubted that they could convince a jury that the fetus was a viable human being who had been killed, the Boston Globe reports.
The woman, who will still face charges, was released on $15,000 bail and will be arraigned in Salem Superior Court within the next two weeks. The young woman will be charged on the grounds of illegally obtaining an abortion, which in Massachusetts is a felony, and if found guilty she could face up to seven years in prison, the Eagle Tribune reports.
Authorities said that the young woman had taken a drug prescribed for ulcers that is part of the pill used for medical abortions. Studies have found that the drug, known by its brand name Cytotec, is common among Latina women as an affordable, though dangerous, way of inducing abortion, according to the Boston Globe.