By Dave Andrusko
After pleading guilty, Jennifer A. Whalen was sentenced Friday to 9 to 18 months in jail for helping her then-16-year-old daughter abort her unborn child using illegally obtained drugs– Misoprostol and Mifepristone—from overseas.
Whalen, 39, was sentenced by Montour County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Norton for violating a Pennsylvania state law that makes it illegal for anyone other than a physician to perform an abortion.
“Her decision was poor. She understands that,” said her attorney Michael Banks, according to the Press-Enterprise newspaper. But Judge Norton said her actions amounted to “practicing medicine without a license.”
In 2012, when Whalen’s daughter told her mother she was pregnant, “Whalen couldn’t find a local abortion clinic, and she didn’t want to take her daughter out of state,” the Press-Enterprise’s 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 daughter 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].”
A doctor called the police. In December 2013 prosecutors charged Whalen with illegally performing an abortion.
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.