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Ohio woman faces felony abuse of a corpse after miscarriage

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Brittany Watts, a 33-year-old Ohio woman, underwent a distressing incident on September 22 when she experienced a miscarriage while in her home restroom. Now, she is slated to appear before a grand jury, as prosecutors advocate for the pursuit of felony charges against her, alleging her abuse of the deceased fetus.

As reported by WKBN, Forensic Pathologist George Sterbenz provided testimony asserting that the fetus was “non-viable” due to “premature ruptured membranes.” He explained that because her water broke at 22 weeks, the fetus was too young to be delivered.

The autopsy report corroborated Sterbenz’s testimony, indicating that there were no signs of injury to the fetus. The autopsy concluded that the fetus had passed away before traveling through the birth canal.

Prosecutor Lewis Guarnieri argued that the concern is not the cause or timing of the fetus’s demise. Guarnieri stated, “It’s the fact that the baby was put into a toilet…left in that toilet, and she went on [with] her day.”

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Ohio cases highlights trauma as it relates to miscarriages

Despite having adhered to proper prenatal care and eagerly awaiting the child’s arrival, Watts now finds herself confronted with a legal battle.

Watts’s attorney, Traci Timko, contends that Watts is facing unwarranted criticism for experiencing a miscarriage. Timko expressed, “This 33-year-old girl, with no criminal record, is demonized for something that goes on every day.”

The incident has ignited widespread outrage on social media platforms. Many expressed disbelief at the prospect of the Ohio woman facing felony charges for experiencing a miscarriage in her home.

Numerous individuals have emphasized the inherently traumatic nature of miscarriage.

According to a study by The National Institutes of Health, 55% of women exhibited symptoms of depression after pregnancy loss. Nearly 30% experienced perinatal grief. Over 18% presented moderate anxiety, while some showed symptoms of PTSD.

Despite Watts’ plea for dismissal, the case is set to proceed to a grand jury. Watts is choosing to plead not guilty. She was released on a $5,000 bond.

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