Teenager Was Held in Maximum-Security Prison, May Face Manslaughter Charges After Self-Induced Abortion Failed

Massachusetts teenager Amber Abreu was recently held for 3 nights in the state’s maximum-security prison for women while her family raised $15,000 for bail, an amount inconceivable to a young woman whose Dominican street remedy for ending an unwanted pregnancy collided with American ambivalence about abortion.

The inner-city resident was arrested on the archaic-sounding charge of “procuring miscarriage” for the death of her 1 1/4-pound baby girl four days after birth. Amber knew abortion was legal in the US, but when a safe and legal one proved inaccessible she made the desperate choice of turning to a cheap home remedy commonplace in the Dominican Republic: she swallowed pills marketed to prevent ulcers but known to induce abortion. The failure of her self-induced abortion means she may now face possible manslaughter charges.

This tragedy is less a measure of one teenager’s bad choices than it is an indictment of a culture that tells all women abortion is their legal, constitutionally protected right, but tolerates a lack of access for the neediest women. A well-heeled suburban 18-year-old who chooses to terminate a pregnancy need only write a check.

read more at the Boston Globe

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