Woman hit with felony charge after suffering a miscarriage 

Dollita Okine December 06, 2023
Brittany Watts was charged with felony misuse of a body after the remains of her 22-week-old fetus were discovered in a toilet at her home. Photo: screenshot/wkbn

Brittany Watts, 33, has been charged with felony abuse of a corpse after the remains of her 22-week-old fetus were discovered in a toilet at her home.

A grand jury will hear the case, which was reported by WKBN. According to the Tribune Chronicle, local law enforcement responded to a call at Watts’ Warren home in September, where they discovered the fetus in the toilet, noting signs of injury on the deceased baby.

Warren Police Detective Nick Carney stated that Watts claimed she “felt the baby come out, and there was a big splash.”

Dr. George Sterbenz, a forensic pathologist, explained during a preliminary court hearing in early November that the fetus was not injured. The doctor confirmed that the baby died before passing through the birth canal and that Watts had sought medical assistance at a hospital on two previous occasions.

Sterbenz also disclosed that the fetus was non-viable due to premature membrane rupture, making delivery impossible.

Meanwhile, Watts’ attorney contended that her client, who has no criminal record, has been treated unfairly for what should be considered an everyday event.

Warren assistant prosecutor Lewis Guarnieri, on the other hand, stressed the case’s focus, highlighting the act of Watts leaving the infant in the toilet and going about her day, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the child’s death.

The case went viral after civil rights attorney Ben Crump published Watts’ tale on social media, calling it “heartbreaking.” This incident has reignited worries about the prosecution of pregnant women and others who have recently given birth.

Pregnant Justice stated that between 2000 and 2022, over a thousand pregnant women faced criminalization for a variety of causes, including miscarriages, failure to wear a seatbelt, and failure to seek medical care during pregnancy, among others. 

The decision by Terry Ivanchak, the Municipal Court Judge, to proceed with Watts’ case has stirred comments and reactions on social media.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 6, 2023


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