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Charges dropped against pregnant Alabama woman who lost baby in a fight

Marshae Jones was initially charged over the death of her unborn child. Credit: AP

Charges have been dropped against an Alabama woman who lost her baby when she was shot during a fight.

Marshae Jones was arrested last week in the US state after a grand jury concluded she intentionally caused the death of the foetus after starting the fight whilst knowing she was pregnant.

At the time of the fracas, which happened in December, Jones was five months pregnant.

She was shot in the stomach by 23-year-old Ebony Jemison.

The subject of the confrontation was reportedly over the father of the unborn child.

Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter after a police investigation.

Officers discovered shots were fired in self defence, leading to Jones being charged - and Jemison reportedly avoiding prosecution.

District Attorney Lynneice Washington said it is not in the public interest to prosecute Ms Jones. Credit: AP/WMBA

Speaking on the decision not the prosecute, Jefferson County District Attorney Lynneice Washington said: "As I have previously stated, this is truly a disturbing and heartbreaking case.

"An unborn child was tragically lost. And families on both sides of this matter have suffered.

"Nothing. Nothing. Nothing we do today or in the future will change that reality."

She continued: "Determined that it is not in the best interest of justice to pursue prosecution of Miss Jones on the misdemeanor charge for which she was indicted by the grand jury.

"Therefore, I am hereby dismissing this case and no further legal action will be taking against Ms Jones in this matter."

The case had caused international outrage, women's rights groups have been outspoken on the matter.

Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, said Alabama currently leads the nation in charging women for crimes related to their pregnancies.

Alabama is one of dozens of states that have foetal homicide laws allowing criminal charges when foetuses are killed in violent acts.