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Arkansas Nurse Criminally Charged With Performing an Abortion (Updated)

Teddy Wilson

An Arkansas nurse has been criminally charged with performing an unlicensed abortion, a class D felony punishable with up to six years in prison and a fine as much as $10,000.

UPDATE, March 15, 3:15 p.m.: The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed Anne Bynum’s conviction for “concealing a birth.” The ruling found that the trial court “abused its discretion by allowing the jury to consider evidence about Ms. Bynum’s past pregnancies and outcomes including abortion,” according to National Advocates for Pregnant Women. 

A nurse in Arkansas, which has some of the country’s most stringent anti-choice policies, has been criminally charged with performing an unlicensed abortion, a class D felony punishable with up to six years in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000.

Authorities allege she provided a drug to a woman to terminate her pregnancy by inducing an abortion.

Arkansas has severe restrictions on abortion, and several bills were passed by lawmakers this year in the state legislature to further restrict access to abortion.

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Some of the restrictions on abortion in the state include a ban on abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization, restrictions on providing medication abortion, a ban on utilizing telemedicine for abortion care, a forced counseling requirement for women seeking abortion, and ban on public funding of abortion care.

Drew County Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen said that Karen Collins has been issued a court summons in lieu of an arrest warrant and is scheduled to appear in court on June 29, reports the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Collins is alleged to have assisted another woman, Anne Bynum, 37, in inducing an abortion on April 1. The type of medication Collins allegedly provided Bynum has not yet been reported.

Local law enforcement alleges that Bynum took a number of pills to induce an abortion, and the fetus was delivered at her parents’ house, reports KARK. Bynum was reportedly 33 weeks pregnant when the abortion was induced, and her parents were apparently unaware that Bynum was pregnant.

Several hours after delivering the fetus, Bynum reported to the Drew Memorial Hospital with the fetus in a plastic bag and still attached to the placenta, according to the Drew County Sheriff’s Office police report.

Bynum was charged with concealing a birth, a class D felony punishable with up to six years in prison and a fine as much as $10,000, and abuse of a corpse, a class C felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Bynum was charged April 8 and was released on a $20,000 bail.

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