Emily Akers of Oklahoma experienced a pregnancy loss at 20 weeks and was charged with manslaughter based on the theory that methamphetamine use caused the stillbirth. This brief, filed by attorney John Coyle on behalf of local and national medical experts, underscores that there is no evidence-based research to support the prosecution’s theory that methamphetamine causes stillbirths. Ms. Akers’ case was dismissed twice in the lower court.
Oklahoma law doesn't allow for a woman to be charged for the demise of her unborn child, unless she committed a crime that caused that demise. And yet, in recent years, Oklahoma prosecutors, especially in Comanche and Kay Counties but also in Craig, Garfield, Jackson, Pontotoc, Payne, Rogers, and Tulsa counties have been using the State’s felony child neglect law to police pregnant women and to seek severe penalties for those who experience pregnancy losses.