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Commentary :: Human Rights : International : Labor : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
MASSACHUSETTS WOMAN FACING JAIL TIME FOR ABORTION -- PROTEST
24 Dec 2007
Modified: 02:10:49 PM
On January 6, 2007 18-year-old Amber Abreu went to the hospital in Lawrence, Massachusetts after trying to terminate a pregnancy by taking a drug, misoprostol, which is an ulcer medication as well as a key component of the abortion pill RU-486. Amber was between 23 and 25 weeks pregnant. The result was a miscarriage. The doctors rushed the 1-1/4 pound expelled fetus to the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, where it remained alive for four days. The police, meanwhile, went after Amber using an archaic law dating back to the 1840s to charge her with “procuring a miscarriage.” Cops dragged Abreu into court in shackles and then held her in the state’s maximum security prison at Framingham for three nights until friends and relatives could come up with $15,000 bail. The young woman, a recent immigrant from the Dominican Republic, faces up to seven years in jail on this outrageous charge.
OUTRAGE! AMBER ABREU IS FACING SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR HAVING AN ABORTION. SHE IS INNOCENT!

COME PROTEST SATURDAY, DEC. 29TH, 11AM
SALEM CITY HALL!

On January 6, 2007 18-year-old Amber Abreu went to the hospital in Lawrence, Massachusetts after trying to terminate a pregnancy by taking a drug, misoprostol, which is an ulcer medication as well as a key component of the abortion pill RU-486. Amber was between 23 and 25 weeks pregnant. The result was a miscarriage. The doctors rushed the 1-1/4 pound expelled fetus to the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, where it remained alive for four days. The police, meanwhile, went after Amber using an archaic law dating back to the 1840s to charge her with “procuring a miscarriage.” Cops dragged Abreu into court in shackles and then held her in the state’s maximum security prison at Framingham for three nights until friends and relatives could come up with $15,000 bail. The young woman, a recent immigrant from the Dominican Republic, faces up to seven years in jail on this outrageous charge.

Eleven months later, Amber's case is still in the pre-trial phase, and is now being heard in Salem, MA. Amber is being targeted as a weak link, a low-income immigrant woman, in an effort to further restrict and criminalize abortion rights. For the hard core anti-abortion forces, sending Amber to jail would represent an easy victory, a small step towards criminalizing abortion completely. The state of Massachusetts which is pressing the charges isn't expecting an outcry of protest because Amber doesn't have the means of popularizing her case. And since Ms. Abreu was well into her pregnancy, the case has been too unpopular for the mainstream women's organizations to touch so far. Very few have opposed this malicious victimization.

The extent to which women have a right to control their own bodies without threat of being locked up is one of the most basic reflections of how equal they are in society. It is impossible to champion equality for women while at the same time opposing full reproductive rights. Amber didn't think she and her family could support another child. Had she been forced to give birth, many of her life options would be forfeited. For the next 18 years Amber would be responsible for providing for a child which she was unable or unready to provide for, chaining herself, her baby, and her family to a life which she didn't choose. Would that be a lesser or greater injustice than if she is thrown in jail now?

In South and Central America alone, upwards of 800,000 women are hospitalized each year from complications resulting form unsafe and predominantly illegal abortions. This highlights the need for free, safe and accessible abortion services as one of the bare minimums for the true liberation of women. It is high time for all those who believe in basic social justice and women's equality to take a stand with Amber Abreu and oppose the vicious role which the police and courts are playing in this young woman's life.

PROTEST AT SALEM CITY HAL
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29TH, 11AM SHARP
DROP THE CHARGES NOW!
For more info email: myview2you (at) gmail.com
or call 617-447-1119

This work is in the public domain