In an 8-part series, the New York Times Editorial Board squarely addresses the core issues, intersectional frameworks, and cases NAPW has been working on for more than 17 years. It recognizes NAPW's leadership in defending the rights of pregnant women.
Arkansas v. Anne Bynum
NAPW represented Anne Bynum as counsel on her successful direct criminal appeal. In Arkansas, local law enforcement alleged that Ms. Bynum took misoprostol pills to induce an abortion (although in fact she planned to deliver the baby, and had an adoption plan in place) . Her pregnancy ended in a stillbirth late at night while she was in her home . Following the stillbirth, she safeguarded the remains and slept for several hours before helping to get her son ready and off to school.
Dear Friends and Allies,
Thank you for your commitment to National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). Whether we met you a few weeks ago or you've been with us for years, you are helping us free women from incarceration, keep families together, and stop forced medical interventions.
The long and twisted prosecution of Anne Bynum has finally been resolved without a new trial and without a conviction for any crime.
In 2015, Arkansas law enforcement officials apparently believed that Anne Bynum had taken steps to have an abortion at home.
The last few weeks have been horrendous. The Muslim ban (too often misnamed a travel ban), the decision allowing fake clinics to deny pregnant women truthful information (making a mockery of free speech principles), and the attack on workers (overturning long-standing precedent and striking down public sector union fees).
And then there was the announcement of Justice Kennedy's resignation.
March 14, 2018
The Arkansas Court of Appeals has issued a unanimous ruling reversing Anne Bynum’s conviction for “concealing a birth” that resulted in a sentence of six years in prison. The criminal charge and conviction stemmed from the state’s claims about Ms. Bynum’s actions after she experienced a stillbirth at home in 2015. The three-judge panel found that the trial court in Drew County had abused its discretion by allowing the jury to consider evidence about Ms. Bynum’s past pregnancies and outcomes including abortion, that “clearly prejudiced” the verdict in the case.
On January 24, 2018, NAPW consulting attorney Dan Arshack argued before the Arkansas Court of Appeals on behalf of Anne Bynum, a woman who experienced a stillbirth at home and was convicted for "concealing a birth" and sentenced to six years in prison after she was alleged to have waited several hours to bring the fetal remains to the hospital and did not tell her mother about her pregnancy.
Despite national and international developments that make many of us feel less than hopeful, NAPW has had a number of victories that remind us of the need to celebrate the accomplishments we have had.
Statement of National Advocates for Pregnant Women Opposing Arrest of Georgia Woman as Murderer for Home Abortion Attempt
According to Georgia prosecutors, 23-year-old Kenlissia Jones has been arrested and is being held without bond, facing a possible charge of "malice murder," based on the claim that she used misoprostol, a medication with the brand name Cytotec, to terminate her own pregnancy.