Brittany Watts, Ohio woman charged with felony after miscarriage at home, describes shock of her arrest

by Jericka Duncan, Rachel Bailey, Cassandra Gauthier and Hilary Cook
January 26, 2024
Video interview: 10 minutes

When Brittany Watts woke up at her Warren, Ohio, home on Sept. 22, 2023, she knew she was miscarrying.

Her 22-week-old fetus had been declared nonviable by doctors several days prior. Bleeding and in pain, she spent a total of 19 hours in the hospital over a span of two days, begging to be induced.
But an ethics group at Mercy Health - St. Joseph Warren Hospital had concerns about Ohio's abortion laws and how they applied to Watts' case, ultimately resulting in hours of delayed care.


Prosecuted for a miscarriage: Ohio demonstrates the ghoulishness of post-Roe America

Post-Roe politics are turning every pregnancy into a potential crime scene

Dec. 21, 2023
By Andrea Grimes

Give birth, die trying, or go to jail.

To the anti-abortion politicians and lobbyists who got their wish when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, these have always been the only acceptable pregnancy outcomes. Ideally, they’d like a country full of meek, compliant (and mostly white) women whose sole mission in life is to have children. But since pregnancy is dangerous, it’s unavoidable that a number of those women will die in the process — especially in the United States, where our maternal mortality rates (particularly for Black and brown people) are already exceptionally high, and rising. That’s too bad, of course, but for anti-abortion forces it’s better than the alternative: Women who think we have the right to make our own decisions about when, where and whether to carry a pregnancy to term.


USA – A woman who had a miscarriage is now charged with abusing a corpse as stricter abortion laws play out nationwide

By Maria Sole Campinoti, Holly Yan and Zenebou Sylla, CNN
Tue December 19, 2023

An Ohio woman who had sought treatment at a hospital before suffering a miscarriage and passing her nonviable fetus in her bathroom now faces a criminal charge, her attorney told CNN.
Brittany Watts, 33, of Warren, has been charged with felony abuse of a corpse, Trumbull County court records show.

“Ms. Watts suffered a tragic and dangerous miscarriage that jeopardized her own life. Rather than focusing on healing physically and emotionally, she was arrested and charged with a felony,” her attorney, Traci Timko, told CNN in an email.


Ohio voters just passed abortion protections. When and how they take effect is before the courts

November 24, 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s new constitutional protections for abortion access and other reproductive rights take effect Dec. 7, a month after voters resoundingly passed them. How and when their impacts are felt remains unclear.

Existing abortion-related lawsuits are moving again through the courts now that voters have decided the issue, raising questions about implementation.


How Republican Courts Could Sabotage the Ohio Abortion Vote and Future Ballot Measures

NOV 09, 2023

After Ohio voted to enshrine reproductive care access in the state’s constitution on Tuesday, abortion rights supporters are now a perfect 7-for-7 in ballot initiative fights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. Ohio has Republicans in control of all three branches of government, but the state’s voters still managed to approve a ballot initiative on reproductive rights. Meanwhile, abortion helped propel state lawmakers in Virginia to control of both chambers of the state Legislature—and fueled the reelection of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in Kentucky. Memes and tweets have circulated saying that if abortion were on the ballot in 2024 instead of Joe Biden, the race would be a done deal.


Next for the GOP on Abortion: Minority Rule

Republicans keep losing elections because they want to restrict reproductive freedom. That doesn’t mean they will stop.

David Corn, Mother Jones
Nov 8, 2023

Once again, American voters in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision that last year nullified a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion have told the Republican Party what they think of its crusade to restrict reproductive freedom: Get lost.

On Tuesday, abortion won. In Ohio, 57 percent of the Buckeyes who went to the polls, in an election that saw supercharged turnout, supported a measure to amend the state constitution to guarantee individuals the “right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions.”


Ohio, Kentucky show abortion rights matter – and Biden might not be such a drag for Dems

It's clear Americans continue to not like having their rights taken away, and that spells serious trouble for the Republican Party.

Rex Huppke, USA TODAY
Nov 8, 2023

Several political narratives died Tuesday night at the hands of voters, marking a nontragic and fully deserved end to days of nervous liberal-pundit blah-blah.

First, in Ohio, voters turned out and overwhelming approved a ballot measure that will enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution. There had been considerable brow-furrowing in Democratic circles about whether the issue of reproductive rights would remain as powerful a vote motivator as it was in previous elections held since Roe v. Wade was overturned.


Ending Roe v. Wade May Have Had the Opposite Effect That Conservatives Had Hoped For

NOV 07, 2023

On Tuesday, Ohio voters passed a ballot measure enshrining the right to an abortion in the state constitution, joining several states where voters have responded to the end of Roe v. Wade by protecting reproductive rights via popular referendum. We recently learned, however, that even without these votes, reproductive rights might be safer than many expected following the end of Roe in 2022.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the conventional wisdom was that there would be a steep drop in the number of abortions in the United States. As it turns out, though, conventional wisdom was wrong. To many observers’ surprise, two recent studies reveal that national abortion numbers have actually slightly increased since the Supreme Court ended Roe. Based on everything we know about abortion seekers and providers, however, that abortion numbers would go up in the face of Supreme Court retrenchment should have been exactly what was predicted.


Ohio voters broadly support abortion access, preliminary exit poll of ballot measure shows

Abortion protections will be added to the state constitution, ABC News projects.

By Christine Filer, Gary Langer, and Allison De Jong
November 7, 2023

On Tuesday in Ohio, voters added abortion protections to the state constitution, ABC News projects -- and preliminary exit poll results indicate broad support for abortion access.

Voters say 61-36% that abortion should be legal rather than illegal in all or most cases, according to the preliminary exit poll.


USA – Abortion debate has dominated this election year. Here are Tuesday’s races to watch

November 6, 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — The most-watched races in Tuesday’s off-year general election have all been dominated by the ongoing debate over abortion rights.

From a reelection bid for governor in Kentucky to a statewide ballot measure in Ohio to state legislative elections in Virginia, access to abortion has been a frequent topic in campaign debates and advertising, as it has since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in June last year overturning Roe vs. Wade.
Here’s a look at three major races and how abortion has shaped each contest.