Charges dropped against Norfolk women charged with illegal abortion

Posted at 5:50 PM, Aug 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-07 10:28:14-04

Norfolk, Va. - Norfolk prosecutors decided not to pursue felony illegal abortion charges against two Norfolk women.

Norfolk police arrested Jessica Carpenter and Rachael Lowe earlier this year.  According to court documents obtained by NewsChannel 3, Carpenter and Lowe's friends told police the women searched for "ingestible items that would cause [Carpenter's] pregnancy to terminate."

The search warrant affidavit for Carpenter's medical records says she went into labor at six months pregnant on April 11, 2013 at DePaul Hospital in Norfolk.  She delivered a baby boy, but he died 20 minutes later.

A spokesperson with the Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney office told NewsChannel 3 prosecutors chose to nolle prosse the charges because "the evidence is insufficient to proceed."

Both women declined comment after the charges were dropped Tuesday afternoon.

"To say that she aborted her own fetus, you need medical evidence, medical testimony, and I just never saw anything like that in the case," said Carpenter's attorney Andrew Saks.

"She's been very upset about the charges and she's been subjected to public scrutiny," Saks continued.  "She's very relieved that the matter's over now and she just wants to get back to her private life and move on."


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