The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 10, 2013

Troopers: Nurse got abortion drugs for Valley girl

By Karen Blackledge
The Daily Item

— WASHINGTONVILLE — A borough nurse faces numerous charges after providing abortifacient drugs purchased overseas to a 16-year-old who was seeking to end her pregnancy, state police at Milton say, adding that the youth then miscarried.

Jennifer A. Whalen, 38, of 15½ Water St., a nursing home employee, faces charges of intentionally, knowingly and recklessly performing an abortion on another while not being a doctor; not obtaining a determination by a doctor whether an abortion was necessary; dispensing and distributing an abortion-inducing drug to a girl; endangering the welfare of children and simple assault.

Whalen’s relationship to the girl was not identified in court documents, nor was it able to be identified elsewhere by deadline.

Whalen told troopers the girl approached her in early 2012, said she was pregnant and didn’t want a baby. The teen’s home-pregnancy test had a positive result, court documents say.

Whalen checked with several Valley medical facilities and was told they do not perform abortions. She searched online and found several out-of-state abortion clinics, but didn’t want to drive the girl out of Pennsylvania, according to the charges. The girl isn’t being identified because of her age.

After searching the Internet, Whalen found an overseas drug store that sold abortifacient drugs. She ordered a $45 package of drugs in pill form containing two different drugs.

Whalen told troopers she didn’t obtain a prescription because she didn’t know a prescription was required.

A week after the girl took the drugs, she began experiencing severe abdominal pain. Whalen took the girl to Geisinger Medical Center’s emergency room for treatment on Feb. 6, 2012.

The girl was interviewed four days later by the Child Advocacy Center in Northumberland. She told those officials she was going to go to a hospital for an abortion but didn’t have insurance at the time.

She said she and Whalen discussed that taking pills from the online overseas pharmacy wouldn’t be any different from pills provided by a hospital, so they decided to use the online pharmacy, police said.

Later she was told that she had miscarried. Medical records showed she was “treated for incomplete abortion,” police said.

Police said the drugs that Whalen allegedly purchased online are to be obtained only in the United States with a physician’s prescription and to be taken under direct care of a physician to avoid risk to the patient.

Charges were filed in the office of Montour County District Judge Marvin Shrawder. Whalen has not yet been arraigned.