A 21-year-old woman was convicted of first-degree manslaughter on Oct. 6 after a second-trimester miscarriage in Oklahoma. Brittney Marie Poolaw was sentenced to 4 years in prison after less than three hours of jury deliberation, according to local media.
Poolaw experienced a miscarriage on Jan. 4, 2020, when the fetus was born stillborn at home after 15-17 weeks of gestation, according to the autopsy. (ABC affiliate KSWO has referred to the fetus as an infant child.) The medical examiner confirmed fetal congenital abnormalities as well as positive results for methamphetamine and amphetamine.
Poolaw couldn’t afford her bail and spent more than a year in custody awaiting trial delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Advocates for Pregnant Woman released a statement in support of Poolaw. “Ms. Poolaw’s case is a tragedy. She has suffered the trauma of pregnancy loss, has been jailed for a year and half during a pandemic, and was charged and convicted of a crime without basis in law or science,” the statement read in part.