By Dave Andrusko
A Pennsylvania newspaper reported Wednesday that a 38-year-old mother will face arraignment in March on charges that she helped her then-16-year-old daughter abort her unborn child using illegally obtained drugs– Misoprostol and Mifepristone—from overseas.
Jennifer A. Whalen “is charged with a felony count of performing an illegal abortion, plus lesser counts of dispensing medicine without a license, endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault,” according to the Press-Enterprise newspaper.
Whalen appeared Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Marvin K. Schrawder, waived her right to a preliminary hearing, and will remain free on $25,000 unsecured bail.
According to state police, the girl, who is now 18, took the drugs in January 2012. She had told her mother she was pregnant and did not want the baby.
“Whalen couldn’t find a local abortion clinic, and she didn’t want to take her daughter out of state,” Chris Krepich reported.
“Whalen found an overseas drugstore online that sold abortion drugs, so she ordered a package for about $45,” according to Krepich. “One drug was to be taken orally, while the other was to be used vaginally 24 hours after the first drug.”
When the girl took the second drug—Mifepristone—she began bleeding immediately.
She was taken to the ER of a local hospital after experiencing severe abdominal pain. According to Krepich, the mother and daughter were worried something was “really wrong.” Medical records indicate the girl was “treated for incomplete abortion and UTI [urinary tract infection].”
The local District Attorney “said it took nearly two years to file charges because the case was unusual and investigators had to research the drugs involved and other elements of the situation,” Krepich wrote.
Whalen indicated to police she was a nurse, but she does not have a nursing license.
Krepich reported that when Whalen entered the courtroom, “she covered her face.”