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Woman Found Guilty Of Manslaughter After Suffering A Miscarriage -- Why People Are Furious With Court!

Woman Found Guilty For Manslaughter After Suffering A Miscarriage

A 21-year-old woman in Oklahoma has been found guilty of first-degree manslaughter after losing her baby during a miscarriage last year.

On October 5, Brittney Poolaw was sentenced to four years in prison after miscarrying at 17 weeks gestation (according to an autopsy on the unborn fetus) in 2020, as local ABC affiliate KSWO reported. Prosecutors on the case have come after Brittney for her drug use during pregnancy, which they claim caused the death.

A statement in court alleged that Poolaw, who was 19 at the time, was taken to Comanche County Memorial Hospital after supposedly giving birth at home (with the umbilical cord still attached upon arrival). She later admitted to medical staff that she had consumed meth and marijuana days prior, both of which she tested positive for. She had supposedly not felt the baby move since taking the drugs.

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In the medical examiner’s report, they listed the child’s cause of death as intrauterine fetal demise due to maternal meth use, according to the Lawton Constitution. A toxicology report also confirmed the fetus’ brain and liver tested positive for meth and amphetamine (as well as one other unnamed drug). So sad…

Because of these medical findings, on January 4, 2020, Brittney was accused of causing her child to be stillborn. But since that arrest, organizations such as the National Advocates for Pregnant Women have come to her defense insisting these charges are against the law!

The non-profit group argued on Wednesday:

“Oklahoma’s murder and manslaughter laws do not apply to miscarriages, which are pregnancy losses that occur before 20 weeks, a point in pregnancy before a fetus is viable (able to survive outside of the womb).”

The organization also pointed out that, under the state’s current law, a mom cannot be prosecuted for causing the death of their child “unless the mother committed a crime” that would have directly resulted in that death. They went on to insist that blaming the young mother was “contrary to all medical science,” noting:

“Not even the medical examiner’s report identifies use of controlled substances as the cause of the miscarriage. Even with this lack of evidence, the prosecutor moved forward with the charge.”

But, as we stated, the medical examiner reportedly did list meth use as a cause of death, so this point remains a bit unclear. There’s lots more evidence to back up NAPW’s claims, though.

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At the trial, an OBGYN testified for the state that the controlled substances may not have caused the death, via KSWO, but the court ultimately ignored this statement. A $20,000 bond was set for Brittney in March, but she has not been able to pay her way out of jail. After already spending 18 months behind bars during a pandemic, her stay has been extended since being found guilty. The NAPW called this end of the case “a tragedy,” expressing:

“This use of prosecutorial discretion directly conflicts with the recommendations of every major medical organization, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, all of which know that such prosecutions actually increase risks of harm to maternal and child health.”

They will be “supporting Ms. Poolaw as she explores her legal options” moving forward amid the “suffering” the miscarriage caused her. Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know (below).

[Image via ABC7 News]

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Oct 18, 2021 08:30am PDT