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Red State
Red State
2 Dec 2023
Jeff Charles

NextImg:Pro-Abortion Lobby Could Exploit Case of Ohio Woman Who Is Facing Charges After Suffering Miscarriage

A tragic incident that occurred in Ohio highlights the complexities of the abortion debate and discussions around the fairness of the laws under which Americans live. A woman is facing prosecution for allegedly violating a corpse after she had a miscarriage in the restroom of her home.

Britney Watts suffered the miscarriage at 22 weeks of pregnancy when she was using the restroom, and tried to flush the remains down the toilet.

A Warren mother accused of abuse of a corpse involving the handling of the miscarriage of her 22-week-old fetus will have her case heard by a Trumbull County grand jury following a Thursday hearing.

Brittany Watts, 33, of Tod Avenue NW, faces a single charge of abuse of corpse, a fifth-degree felony. During an arraignment in Warren Municipal Court earlier this month, Watts pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Warren Assistant Prosecutor Lewis Guarnieri said the police investigation found that Watts miscarried the baby while using the restroom and tried to plunge and flush the remains down the toilet, where it got stuck in the pipes.

Guarnieri said the toilet had to be removed by police and taken to the Trumbull County Coroner’s Office. The fetus was about 22 weeks old when the incident took place on Sept. 22.

He argued in favor of having the case move forward, with which Warren Municipal Court Judge Terry Ivanchak agreed, determining there was probable cause for the case to be bound over to the grand jury.

Guarnieri said the state did not have to prove viability, citing a section of Ohio Revised Code 2927.01 that reads, “no person, except as authorized by law, shall treat a human corpse in a way that would outrage reasonable community sensibilities.”

Forensic Pathologist Dr. George Sturbans performed an autopsy on the baby and found that it had died before passing through the birth canal. He found no injuries on the body and testified that Watts’ medical records indicated that she had visited the hospital two times before the miscarriage. The child was non-viable due to premature rupture of membranes.

The prosecution is arguing that the case centers on the fact that the fetus was placed in the toilet. Tracy Timko, Watts’ defense attorney, pointed out that the defendant “learned days before this that a miscarriage was inevitable and that the fetus could not survive outside the womb due to gestational age.”

She also pointed out that no Ohio law requires a mother to bury a child who has died due to miscarriage.

If convicted, Watts could be facing between six and 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Watts’ case raises questions about the legal and ethical treatment of women who have suffered miscarriages, especially against the backdrop of a national debate over abortion. Those on the pro-abortion side of the argument will likely exploit Watts’ situation to paint a picture of a situation in which women are being criminalized for their “reproductive choices.”

In a post-Roe world, it would not be out of the question for the pro-abortion lobby to take full advantage of a case such as this – especially if Watts is convicted. It could set a precedent that might bring about undesirable results from the perspective of justice. If a woman goes through the trauma of experiencing a miscarriage, and does not properly dispose of the body, is it just to put her in a jail cell?

Watts’ case has not yet been highlighted on the national stage. But depending on the outcome of her trial, it could become a prominent part of the overall abortion debate.