Partial Birth Abortions
On June 24th, 2022, the United States Supreme court overturned the 1973 landmark case, Roe V. Wade.
Roe v. Wade in 1973, the Supreme court ruled that the decision whether to continue or end a pregnancy belongs to the individual, not the government.
Roe held that the specific guarantee of liberty in the fourteenth Amendment of the U.S Constitution, which protects individual privacy, includes the right to abortion prior to fetal visibility.
Up until recently The Supreme Court upheld Roe and reaffirmed it every time it came up for review. They repeatedly affirmed that the Constitution protects abortion as an essential liberty, which is tied to other liberty rights to make personal decisions about family, relationships, and bodily autonomy.
However, in June of 2022, that all changed when the new Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and gave the power back to the individual states to determine if in their state abortion should continue to be legal.
It is now up to each state to decide if abortion services will be legal at all and to what extent those services will provide. States that continue to offer abortion services will see out-of-state residents flooding their own states to receive abortion care legally.
However, there is the other darker side of the abortion debate, the illegal or partial birth abortion.
Many women turn to illegal abortion services or have illegal abortions or even try to abort the fetus themselves due to many reasons including lack of available medical care, lack of financial ability to pay for that care or to get to the care or lack of education. These services are offered by many illegal operations or doctors who are willing to perform this service.
Nevada Abortion Laws
In 1990, the voters of Nevada approved The Freedom of Choice act.
This act upheld Nevadan’s right to have an abortion act regardless of whether Roe v. Wade was ever overturned. Some of these are as follows:
- NRS 442.250: Any person in Nevada who is pregnant has the legal right to choose to have an abortion when performed by a licensed physician within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.
- NRS 201.120: targets patients seeking illegal abortions and the people who help them obtain them. It doesn’t matter if the mother carries the baby to term or the woman turns out to not have been pregnant. Merely attempting to have an abortion without a doctor is unlawful.
Examples of Illegal Abortions:
- A pregnant woman taking the RU486 abortion pill that was stolen and not prescribed by a medical doctor
- A person posing as a medical professional trying to induce an abortion using natural remedies.
- A person trying to perform an actual illegal abortion without proper medical care.
Partial Birth Abortions are a federal offense and therefore enforced by the federal government. US Code 18 Chapter 74 section 1531 covers partial birth abortions and the penalties.
Section 1531, a physician who, in affecting interstate commerce or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial birth abortion and kills a human fetus as a result of performing a partial birth abortion can be tried and convicted of a federal crime.
NRS.200.220 makes it a felony in Nevada for a woman to terminate her pregnancy with “any drug, medicine or substance, or any instrument or other means ‘ after the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.
A recent case used this law that was established in 1911 to convict a Nevada resident of Manslaughter for performing a self-abortion and having a stillbirth.
So even though Nevada has kept its right to choose act, the flip side is that it is a felony to perform an abortion after 24 weeks even in cases of rape or incest. Only if the abortion is a life-saving measure can it be performed by a doctor in a hospital setting.
What Are the Penalties?
Illegal abortion is considered voluntary manslaughter and is a category B felony. This carries the following penalties:
- 1-10 years in prison and
- Up to a $10,000 fine
On the other hand, It is a gross misdemeanor to:
- Make, sell or give away any instrument or drug to induce a miscarriage
- Conceal the birth of a baby by disposing of its corpse, or
- Advertise services, medicine, or devices, to cause a miscarriage or premature birth
Gross Misdemeanors penalties include:
- Up to 364 days in jail and
- a $2,000 fine
Remember, partial birth abortions are a federal offense punishable by up to 2 years in federal prison.
Defenses Against Partial Birth and Illegal Abortions
- False accusations-People make false accusations against others for revenge all the time. Maybe an angry spouse who wanted to keep the baby accused the pregnant mother of having an illegal abortion. Even the woman having the illegal procedure can make false accusations about having an abortion. Or an abortion activist who doesn’t believe in abortion accuses a medical doctor of performing illegal abortions without proof. A defense team will investigate to uncover evidence that these accusations are all false and in that case, the charges should be dismissed
- Entrapment-If the police suspect an illegal abortionist or woman seeking illegal abortions is occurring, they cannot pressure suspects into violating the law when they are not predisposed to it. If the police entrapped the defendant into unlawful acts that they otherwise wouldn’t perform, then the charges can be dismissed.
- Police misconduct-Police must prove probable cause to search any business including an abortion clinic. If they have no probable cause or haven’t received the proper search warrant issued by a judge then the evidence gathered from the search should be suppressed or not allowed as evidence in the case.
- The abortion was performed legally or was a life-saving procedure– If the defendant can prove that the abortion was performed during a life-saving procedure of the mother or was otherwise legal then the charges can be dropped.
As with all criminal charges, it is the prosecutor’s burden of proof to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced legal team can raise reasonable doubt to get the charges dismissed.
Accused of a Crime? Call The Defenders
The Defenders have been representing Nevada residents for years for all types of criminal charges. Our reputation and relationships make it possible for us to work with the prosecution to negotiate a favorable resolution without litigation.
We will always fight for our clients’ charges to be dismissed if possible. With our large pool of attorneys, we have a staff of experienced lawyers with specialties in Constitutional and Abortion rights law.
The Defenders offer our in-house investigation team, so we can investigate the charges against you and find our own evidence to refute pending charges. We will attend any and all court hearings, police interrogations, bail hearings, or any depositions required once you become a client.
We are available to our clients 24/7 and offer a free case review. During your case review we will tell you what you can expect from us and from the outcome of your case so there are no surprises.
We have a reputation for getting our clients’ favorable outcomes like either reduced charges and penalties or getting the charges dismissed altogether.
If you are a medical doctor or a woman seeking abortion services and were charged with the crime of illegal abortion or partial birth abortion you’ll need expert legal services to protect your constitutional rights.