A nurse in Arkansas has been criminally charged for performing an abortion, and her patient was charged with concealing her pregnancy and abusing a corpse.
Karen Collins, a 32-year-old Drew County nurse, is accused of two counts of performing an abortion without being licensed to do so and performing an unlawful abortion. She allegedly gave drugs to 37-year-old patient Anne Bynum, who was 33 weeks pregnant, inducing an abortion, ArkansasOnline reports.
Arkansas has some of the nation’s harshest anti-abortion laws, RH Reality Check reports. Laws passed this year prohibit abortions 20 weeks after fertilization and force women to get counseling before having one. The state has also banned public funding of abortion care.
Bynum, who has been charged with concealing a birth and abusing a corpse, is free on $20,000 bond. She was arrested and jailed in April on the felony counts, Arkansas Matters reports.
Authorities say Bynum took the drugs provided by Collins and passed the fetus at her parents’s house around 3 a.m. She wrapped it in a plastic bag, put it in her car, then went to sleep for “several hours” before going to the emergency room.
It’s just one of a growing number of disturbing cases in which women living in states that limit reproductive health care also criminalize abortions.
In March, Indiana sentenced Purvi Patel, 33, to 20 years in prison on charges of feticide and neglect of a dependent, according to NBC News. Patel went to the ER, bleeding heavily, after having a miscarriage and was then arrested. Her conviction sparked an outcry from the reproductive rights community.
“Purvi Patel’s conviction amounts to punishment for having a miscarriage and then seeking medical care, something that no woman should worry would lead to jail time,” activist Deepa Iyer told NBC.
If convicted on both charges, Bynum faces up to 16 years in prison and fines up to $20,000, While Collins could face six years behind bars and $10,000 in fines, RH Reality Check Reports.