WHAT WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROSECUTE A WOMAN WHO IS ALLEGED TO HAVE GOTTEN AN ILLEGAL ABORTION?
A criminal offense must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high burden and is very difficult to establish. If a woman gets an abortion, she can only be convicted if a jury of 12 unanimously agree that it happened.
So how does this work?
First there has to be an allegation sufficient to establish probable cause to issue an arrest warrant or to get an indictment. Will a statement from an “informant”, like in a drug case, be sufficient? How about a mail receipt of abortion medicine? What about the statement of someone who claims that the woman was once pregnant but they never saw a baby? Perhaps social media posts? Period tracking apps????
If this kind of evidence satisfies a magistrate of probable cause and an arrest warrant is issued, where will the evidence of her guilt come from? Can the State force a woman to submit to a gynecological examination against her consent? Isn’t that Rape? Will the State be permitted to obtain a woman’s confidential medical records against her consent? Doesn’t this violate HIPPA? What about her right to protect herself from self incrimination- after all, who knows what else the State will find in her confidential medical records.
And finally, who is going to charge and prosecute these women? Our Solicitor, Scarlett Wilson? Will our Sheriff, Kristin Graziano bring charges? Do you think David Pascoe in the 1st Circuit wants to be distracted from busting Meth Labs to focus on a woman making a choice about her body?
I predict that 5 years from now there will have been NO abortion prosecutions in the 1st and 9th Circuits (Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties) and less than 5 in the entire state of South Carolina.
Let’s hope I’m right.