For Immediate Release - January 24, 2007

Woman Pleads Not Guilty To Procuring Miscarriage

Amber Abreu, 18, of Lawrence, pleaded not guilty today in Lawrence District Court to procuring a miscarriage.

Judge Michael Brooks ordered Abreu held on $15,000 cash bail, and continued her case until February 23 for a probable cause hearing. In addition to setting cash bail, the judge ordered Abreu to surrender her passport, and issued a bail warning, meaning that if she gets into further legal trouble while this case is pending, she could be held without bail for up to 60 days.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Jessica Strasnick told the court that Abreu went to Lawrence General Hospital on January 6, 2007, complaining of abdominal pains. Shortly thereafter she gave birth to her daughter Ashley, who weighed 1 ¼ pound. The baby was transported to New England Medical Center in Boston where she died four days later.

It is alleged that Abreu had taken three pills, later determined to be Misoprostal, in order to miscarry the baby. It is believed she was between 23 and 25 weeks pregnant at the time. Medical examiners are still conducting tests to determine whether to rule the death a homicide.

Abreu is represented by Attorney Amanda Barker of the Committee for Public Counsel Service.