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Mom jailed for up to 18 months after giving teen daughter abortion pills

The mom said ordered the pills online because the closest abortion facility was over an hour’s drive away.
Mon Sep 8, 2014 - 11:24 am EST
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A Pennsylvania mother who pled guilty to performing an illegal abortion on her 16-year-old daughter has been sentenced to between 12 and 18 months in prison for the crime, which is a felony.

Jennifer Ann Whalen, 39, illegally purchased abortion pills from a European-based online pharmacy and administered them to her daughter after the girl became pregnant and said she didn’t want to have the baby.  The girl was later admitted to the hospital with serious complications including hemorrhaging and severe abdominal pain.

Pennsylvania law requires abortions to be performed by a licensed physician.  But Whalen told investigators that she opted to order the pills online because the closest abortion facility to her Washingtonville home is in Harrisburg, over an hour’s drive away.

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Whalen’s attorney, Michael Banks, told the local Press Enterprise newspaper that his client “understands her decision was poor.”

In addition to the prison sentence, Montour County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Norton ordered Whalen to pay a $1,000 fine and perform 40 hours of community service upon her release.  The maximum penalty for performing an illegal abortion in Pennsylvania is seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.


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