Aide Charged With Providing Abortion Drug

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WASHINGTONVILLE — A primary care aide* from Montour County is accused of performing an illegal abortion on a 16-year-old girl. State police say the woman ordered abortion pills from an overseas drug store because the girl did not want to go to the hospital.

State police say Jennifer Whalen, 38, of Washingtonville bought the pills from an overseas online pharmacy in January of 2012 and gave them to the teenager. She was charged earlier this week with performing an illegal abortion.

According to court papers, the teenager did not have health insurance and did not want to go to the hospital to have the procedure.

State police say Whalen lives near Danville and works at a local nursing home, and told the teen the abortion pills she ordered online would be the same ones used in the hospital. Whalen allegedly bought the pills for $45.

According to court papers, about two weeks after the teen took the abortion pills, she had severe stomach pains and was taken to Geisinger Medical Center. Doctors said she had a miscarriage.

“It’s just completely irresponsible to buy something online like that without any guidance,” Dr. Lucy Corbin, Au.D. said.

Dr. Corbin is a doctor in Danville. She does not specialize in women’s health, but does not trust ordering pills from companies overseas.

“All the side effects that could be with the baby and with the mother. What if the baby did survive then? I don’t even want to think about it,” Dr. Corbin said.

Investigators say both of the drugs Whalen ordered require a prescription in the United States and are only supposed to be used under the direct care of a doctor.

“Until you get that pill, you don’t know what’s in it. Look at the complications she had. She had to end up going to a doctor anyway, so she should have went there first,” Anna Mordan said.

Jennifer Whalen was not arrested and has not yet appeared in court to face charges. Investigators would not say which nursing home she works at or her relationship to the 16-year-old girl.

*9/8/14 — A previous version of this story mistakenly referred to Jennifer Whalen as a nurse. According to her attorney, Whalen is not a licensed nurse of any kind, but instead works as a primary care aide at a nursing home. Newswatch 16 regrets the error and apologizes for any confusion.