A single mom in Pennsylvania has been sentenced to prison for helping to end her teen daughter’s pregnancy by giving her pills purchased online.
Jennifer Ann Whalen, 39, of Washingtonville, who works as a nursing home aide, was sentenced on Friday to nine to 18 months behind bars after pleading guilty to performing an illegal abortion.
Whalen bought the miscarriage-inducing pills from a European drug firm after the 16-year-old girl had gotten pregnant, but did not want to have the child.
She was sentenced on Friday by Montour County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Norton to serve 12 months to 18 months in prison for violating a state law that requires abortions to be performed by physicians.
She was also fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service after her release.
The felony offense called for up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Whalen told authorities they couldn’t find a local clinic to perform an abortion, and the girl had no insurance to pay for a hospital stay.
The closest abortion clinic to Whalen’s home is about 74 miles away in Harrisburg.
The girl took the pills and wound up hospitalized with extreme abdominal pain and bleeding, reports The Press Enterprise.
Whalen’s attorney, Michael Banks, says his client understands ‘her decision was poor.’
The Pennsylvania case follows the prosecution of a Florida man who pleaded guilty to tricking his girlfriend into taking an abortion pill.
He was sentenced in January to 13 years in prison and $28,500 restitution.
In June, Florida toughened state law to allow for prosecutions in the death of non-viable fetuses.
SOURCE: AP / Reuters