Court date set for Norfolk women charged in illegal abortion/miscarriage

Norfolk, Va. – The preliminary hearing for two Norfolk woman accused of producing an abortion/miscarriage was set for early August during a hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Wednesday morning.

Twenty-year-old Jessica Carpenter and 27-year-old Rachael Lowe are charged with taking measures to abort Carpenter’s baby or cause her to miscarry last month.

A search warrant affidavit for Carpenter’s medical records says she went into labor at six months pregnant last month and delivered a baby boy April 11, 2013 at DePaul Hospital in Norfolk.  The baby died at the hospital 20 minutes later.  The affidavit said friends of Carpenter and Lowe told police the women searched for “ingestible items and others means that would cause [Carpenter's] pregnancy to terminate.”

Woman and roommate accused of trying to cause miscarriage

The affidavit said Lea Smith, a former friend of the women charged, told detectives she “heard direct statements from both [Carpenter and Lowe] that they purchased items from GNC to ingest and cause the pregnancy to terminate”.

NewsChannel 3 has not viewed the baby’s autopsy, and Norfolk police and prosecutors are not saying if they have additional evidence.

NewsChannel 3 investigative reporter Jessica Larche asked Carpenter Wednesday morning “Whether you’re guilty of these charges or not, do you feel bad that you lost the baby?”

Carpenter responded “Yes, but I still have nothing to say to you.”

Carpenter has hired an attorney.  Lowe is being represented  by a Norfolk public defender.

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