Mississippi Grand Jury Declines to Indict Woman in Emmett Till Murder Case

NASHVILLE — A grand jury in Mississippi examining the case of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black boy whose abduction and killing more than six decades ago became a galvanizing force for the civil rights movement, has declined to indict the white woman whose accusations prompted the attack, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Jurors in Leflore County in the Mississippi Delta, where Emmett had traveled from Chicago in the summer of 1955, heard more than seven hours of testimony from investigators and witnesses with direct knowledge of the case. Still, prosecutors said, the panel did not find sufficient evidence to indict the woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, on charges of kidnapping or manslaughter.

“After hearing every aspect of the investigation and evidence collected regarding Donham’s involvement, the grand jury returned a ‘no bill’ to the charges of both kidnapping and manslaughter,” the office of W. Dewayne Richardson, the district attorney for the Fourth Circuit Court District of Mississippi, said Tuesday.

unearthed an arrest warrant for Ms. Donham — issued by the Leflore County sheriff and dated Aug. 29, 1955 — that had never been served. It accused her of kidnapping and led to the grand jury examination.

The most recent turn in the case on Tuesday could very well be one of the last options for prosecution in the case.

“The murder of Emmett Till remains an unforgettable tragedy in this country,” prosecutors said in a statement, “and the thoughts and prayers of this nation continue to be with the family of Emmett Till.”

The Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr., a cousin and best friend of Emmett’s who is the last living witness to the abduction, described the development as “unfortunate, but predictable, news.” Still, he said he believed that prosecutors were living up to their assurances that “they would leave no stone unturned in the fight for justice for my cousin.”

already decided once before, in 2007, not to indict Ms. Donham. That came after federal officials had launched an investigation in 2004 as his family and others maintained that other people had been involved in the lynching. Investigators exhumed Emmett’s body. They also discovered a long-lost trial transcript and produced an 8,000-page report handed over to local prosecutors.

the inquiry had been closed and that prosecutors could not pursue perjury charges, citing the statute of limitations and Ms. Donham’s denial of ever having changed her story.

Audra D. S. Burch contributed reporting.

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Two in Arbery Case Sentenced Again to Life in Prison; Third Man Gets 35 Years

ATLANTA — Before the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced on Monday on federal hate crime charges, they asked a judge to consider not only the length of the sentences, but also the location, with one lawyer arguing that if her client went straight to Georgia’s dangerous state prison system, he would be subject to “vigilante justice.”

The men did not get what they asked for.

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said she had “neither the authority nor the inclination” to send the three white men to federal prison in lieu of the Georgia prison system, where safety issues are so dire that they are the subject of an investigation by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department.

court proceedings, prosecutors argued that all three defendants harbored racial animus toward Black people.

In court on Monday, A.J. Balbo, the lawyer for Gregory McMichael, asked for leniency, noting that his client suffered from heart problems and bouts of depression and anxiety. The lawyer for Mr. Bryan, J. Pete Theodocion, noted that his client, unlike the McMichaels, had not grabbed a gun when he joined the chase. Prosecutors noted, however, that Mr. Bryan had used his truck to block Mr. Arbery as he tried to run out of the neighborhood.

Judge Wood said she had spent a long time thinking about the appropriate sentences for the men. At one point, she referred to the February 2022 federal trial that she presided over, in which all three men were found guilty of federal hate crimes.

It had been a fair trial, Judge Wood said — “the kind of trial that Ahmaud Arbery did not receive before he was shot and killed.”

The three men did not take the stand during their trials. But on Monday, Mr. Bryan apologized to Mr. Arbery’s family: “I never intended any harm to him,” he said.

Travis McMichael declined to address the court. But his father spoke before his sentencing. “The loss that you’ve endured is beyond description,” Gregory McMichael said to the Arbery family. “I’m sure that my words mean very little to you. But I want to assure you, I never wanted any of this to happen.”

The McMichaels were each given extra sentences, to run consecutively rather than concurrently, for their use of firearms in the incident. Mr. Bryan was technically given 447 months, with 27 months off for time served.

“By the time you’ve served your federal sentence, you will be close to 90 years old,” the judge said to Mr. Bryan. “But, again, Mr. Arbery never got the chance to be 26.”

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Liz Cheney Is Ready to Lose. But She’s Not Ready to Quit.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — It was just over a month before her primary, but Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming was nowhere near the voters weighing her future.

Ms. Cheney was instead huddled with fellow lawmakers and aides in the Capitol complex, bucking up her allies in a cause she believes is more important than her House seat: ridding American politics of former President Donald J. Trump and his influence.

“The nine of us have done more to prevent Trump from ever regaining power than any group to date,” she said to fellow members of the panel investigating Mr. Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. “We can’t let up.”

an ad calling Mr. Trump a “coward” who represents the greatest threat to America in the history of the republic.

In a state where Mr. Trump won 70 percent of the vote two years ago, Ms. Cheney might as well be asking ranchers to go vegan.

“If the cost of standing up for the Constitution is losing the House seat, then that’s a price I’m willing to pay,” she said in an interview last week in the conference room of a Cheyenne bank.

the women of Congress after 2018 — she now freely discusses gender and her perspective as a mother.

“These days, for the most part, men are running the world, and it is really not going that well,” she said in June when she spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

benefited from Democratic donors, whose affections may be fleeting. To the frustration of some allies, she has not expanded her inner circle beyond family and a handful of close advisers. Never much of a schmoozer, she said she longed for what she recalled as her father’s era of policy-centric politics.

“What the country needs are serious people who are willing to engage in debates about policy,” Ms. Cheney said.

It’s all a far cry from the Liz Cheney of a decade ago, who had a contract to appear regularly on Fox News and would use her perch as a guest host for Sean Hannity to present her unswerving conservative views and savage former President Barack Obama and Democrats.

Today, Ms. Cheney doesn’t concede specific regrets about helping to create the atmosphere that gave rise to Mr. Trump’s takeover of her party. She did, however, acknowledge a “reflexive partisanship that I have been guilty of” and noted that Jan. 6 “demonstrated how dangerous that is.”

Few lawmakers today face those dangers as regularly as Ms. Cheney, who has had a full-time Capitol Police security detail for nearly a year because of the threats against her — protection few rank-and-file lawmakers are assigned. She no longer provides advance notice about her Wyoming travel and, not welcome at most county and state Republican events, has turned her campaign into a series of invite-only House parties.

dormant questions about her ties to the state and raised fears that she has gone Washington and taken up with the opposition, dismissing the political views of the voters who gave her and her father their starts in electoral politics.

to re-register as Republicans, as least long enough to vote for her in the primary.)

For Ms. Cheney, any sense of bafflement about this moment — a Cheney, Republican royalty, being effectively read out of the party — has faded in the year and a half since the Capitol attack.

When she attended the funeral last year for Mike Enzi, the former Wyoming senator, Ms. Cheney welcomed a visiting delegation of G.O.P. senators. As she greeted them one by one, several praised her bravery and told her to keep up the fight against Mr. Trump, she recalled.

She did not miss the opportunity to pointedly remind them: They, too, could join her.

“There have been so many moments like that,” she said at the bank, a touch of weariness in her voice.

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Drop Box for Babies: Conservatives Promote a Way to Give Up Newborns Anonymously

The Safe Haven Baby Box at a firehouse in Carmel, Ind., looked like a library book drop. It had been available for three years for anyone who wanted to surrender a baby anonymously.

No one had ever used it, though, until early April. When its alarm went off, Victor Andres, a firefighter, opened the box and found, to his disbelief, a newborn boy wrapped in towels.

The discovery made the local TV news, which praised the courage of the mother, calling it “a time for celebration.” Later that month, Mr. Andres pulled another newborn, a girl, from the box. In May, a third baby appeared. By summer, three more infants were left at baby box locations throughout the state.

Studies show that the vast majority of women denied an abortion are uninterested in adoption and go on to raise their children.

But the safe haven movement has become much more prominent, in part because of a boost from a charismatic activist with roots in anti-abortion activism, Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes.

With Ms. Kelsey and allies lobbying across the country, states like Indiana, Iowa and Virginia have sought to make safe haven surrenders easier, faster and more anonymous — allowing older babies to be dropped off, or allowing relinquishing parents to leave the scene without speaking to another adult or sharing any medical history.

Some who work with safe haven children are concerned about the baby boxes, in particular. There are now more than 100 across the country.

research found that more than half the children have health or developmental issues, often stemming from inadequate prenatal care. In California, unlike in Indiana, safe haven surrenders must be done face-to-face, and parents are given an optional questionnaire on medical history, which often reveals serious problems such as drug use.

Still, many children do well. Tessa Higgs, 37, a marketing manager in southern Indiana, adopted her 3-year-old daughter, Nola, after the girl was dropped off at a safe haven just hours after her birth. Ms. Higgs said the biological mother had called the Safe Haven Baby Box hotline after seeing one of the group’s billboards.

“From day one, she has been so healthy and happy and thriving and exceeding all developmental milestones,” Ms. Higgs said of Nola. “She’s perfect in our eyes.”

pointed to research showing that over the long term, birth parents feel more satisfied about giving up their children if biological and adoptive families maintain a relationship.

reclaim custody of their children. Such cases can take months or even years to resolve.

Birth mothers are also not immune from legal jeopardy, and may not be able to navigate the technicalities of each state’s safe haven law, said Lori Bruce, a medical ethicist at Yale.

While many states protect surrendering mothers from criminal prosecution if babies are healthy and unharmed, mothers in severe crisis — dealing with addiction or domestic abuse, for example — may not be protected if their newborns are in some way affected.

The idea of a traumatized, postpartum mother being able to “correctly Google the laws is slim,” Ms. Bruce said.

With the demise of Roe, “we know we are going to see more abandoned babies,” she added. “My concern is that means more prosecutors are going to be able to prosecute women for having unsafely abandoned their children — or not following the letter of the law.”

On Friday, the Indiana governor signed legislation banning most abortions, with slim exceptions.

And the safe haven movement continues apace.

Ms. Higgs, the adoptive mother, has stayed in touch with Monica Kelsey of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. “The day that I found out about Roe v. Wade, I texted Monica and was like, ‘Are you ready to get even busier?’”

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Your Friday Evening Briefing

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said she would support the bill after Democratic leaders agreed to drop a $14 billion tax increase on some wealthy hedge fund managers and private equity executives that she had opposed. They also changed the structure of a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations and included drought relief money to benefit Arizona.

The bill still needs to clear hurdles before the Senate can pass it. With Republicans united in opposition, all Democrats in the 50-50 Senate have to vote for it before it can become law.

added 528,000 jobs last month, the Department of Labor said, an unexpectedly strong gain that showed the labor market was not slowing despite higher interest rates, at least so far.

The impressive performance — which brings total employment back to its level of February 2020, just before the pandemic lockdowns — provides new evidence that the country has not entered a recession. But with the Federal Reserve pursuing an aggressive policy of interest rate increases, most forecasters expect the labor market to cool later in the year, as companies cut payrolls to match lower demand.

was part of the agonizing trial in which a jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz — who pleaded guilty to the shooting rampage that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 — should be sentenced to death or to life imprisonment.

One by one, the relatives and friends described the depths of their despair since losing their loved ones four years ago. “The night no longer brings intimacy and comfort,” said Debra Hixon, the wife of Chris Hixon, the school’s athletic director who was killed in the shooting. “Just the loudness of the silence.”

The defense is scheduled to begin its case later this month.

In other courtroom news, a jury decided that the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay the parents of a child killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting $45.2 million in punitive damages.

new careers and job titles have sprung into existence, such as “head of team anywhere” and “vice president of flexible work.” The lasting power of these new positions has yet to be tested.

watch Morpheus, the king of dreams, and his supernatural siblings in Netflix’s take on the award-winning, genre-blending comic.

Gaiman said in an interview with The New York Times Magazine that “The Sandman” had endured because new generations “find it, and it’s their comic. It’s their story.”

In other news about August premieres, Abbi Jacobson, the star and co-creator of the series “A League of Their Own,” said she wants to tell stories about insecure people and then “what if the most insecure, unsure person is the leader?”

record-setting heat that will most likely worsen because of climate change.

But several people in the industry say a growing number of travelers are adjusting their plans to account for high temperatures by heading to coastal or northern destinations and booking trips in the cooler months of April, May, September and October.

In another climate concern, glass bottles may be perfect for aging wine, but making them requires an enormous amount of heat and energy.

10. And finally, a glimmer of hope for Loch Ness monster believers.

A discovery by researchers in Britain and Morocco added weight to the hypothesis that long-necked prehistoric reptiles known as plesiosaurs might have lived in lakes, rivers and oceans. The team found fossils of 12 plesiosaurs, proof that it was not just one plesiosaur that wandered into freshwater and then died there.

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DeSantis Suspends Tampa Prosecutor Who Vowed Not to Criminalize Abortion

MIAMI — Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida suspended the top prosecutor in Tampa on Thursday, accusing him of incompetence and neglect of duty for vowing not to prosecute those who seek or provide abortions.

In a startling announcement, Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, suspended from office Andrew H. Warren, the elected state attorney of Hillsborough County. In June, Mr. Warren, a Democrat, was among 90 elected prosecutors across the country who vowed not to prosecute those who seek or provide abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Florida imposed a 15-week abortion ban in April.

The decision immediately raised concerns among Democrats, including Mr. Warren, who say that the governor has become increasingly heavy-handed.

suspend him.

Aramis D. Ayala, a Democrat who was then the state attorney in Orlando, startled the state by saying she would not seek the death penalty in any cases, Mr. Scott reassigned more than two dozen cases to another state attorney’s office. But he did not suspend Ms. Ayala, who did not seek re-election after her term and is now running for Florida attorney general.

Mr. DeSantis has been much more aggressive. Shortly after taking office in 2019, he suspended Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County, a Democrat, faulting him for his handling of the mass shooting at a Parkland high school in 2018, even though Mr. Israel had not been criminally charged. Mr. Israel unsuccessfully appealed his suspension to the courts and the State Senate and later lost a re-election bid.

Mr. DeSantis is up for re-election in November and has faced growing criticism from Democrats that his approach to governing has become increasingly authoritarian. On Thursday, the two leading Democrats vying to challenge him, Representative Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried, the state’s agriculture commissioner, reacted to Mr. Warren’s suspension by referring to Mr. DeSantis in statements as a “wannabe dictator” (Mr. Crist) and a “dictator” (Ms. Fried).

Miriam Krinsky, the executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution, which put out the statement against criminalizing abortion that Mr. Warren signed in June, called his suspension “an unprecedented and dangerous intrusion on the separation of powers and the will of the voters.”

their joint statement in June. “Prosecutors should not be part of that.”

Mr. Warren had previously criticized Mr. DeSantis for enacting anti-protest legislation and creating an election crimes office.

In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. DeSantis cited a second statement from Fair and Just Prosecution that Mr. Warren signed that pledged not to criminalize “transgender people and gender-affirming health care.”

“I don’t think the people of Hillsborough want to have an agenda that is basically woke, where you’re deciding that your view of social justice means certain laws shouldn’t be enforced,” Mr. DeSantis said.

Mr. DeSantis has recently blasted surgeries for transgender adolescents, saying doctors who perform such procedures should be sued. Major medical groups have endorsed so-called gender-affirming medical care for teenage patients, including the use of puberty blockers and hormones when necessary. Genital surgeries are not recommended for those under 18, while guidelines say mastectomies can be offered to teenagers 15 and up.

The Florida Department of Health has said that it opposes all transition-related care for children, including social changes like names and pronouns.

Azeen Ghorayshi contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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Newsom Asks Hollywood to Stop Filming in Conservative States

SACRAMENTO — Widening his attack on Republican states for their positions on guns, civil rights and abortion, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California on Wednesday called on Hollywood to “walk the walk” on liberal values by bringing back their film and television productions from states such as Georgia and Oklahoma.

Mr. Newsom issued the challenge through an ad in Variety that asked the state’s left-leaning creative community to “take stock of your values — and those of your employees — when doing business in those states.”

The Democratic governor on Wednesday simultaneously endorsed a legislative proposal that would provide a $1.65 billion, five-year extension of California’s film and television production tax credit program.

took the opportunity to rebuke Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas for previously enabling its residents to sue abortion providers.

Tulsa King,” Taylor Sheridan’s upcoming crime drama starring Sylvester Stallone, has been filming this summer for Paramount+ in Oklahoma.

announced that film and television productions generated $4.4 billion in the state this fiscal year, a new record. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was filmed in the state, the governor noted, as was the fourth season of “Stranger Things.”

thick of that power struggle for months, trolling Mr. DeSantis on Twitter and inviting Disney to rethink its Florida investments. The Variety ad was the latest in a series of initiatives by Mr. Newsom to take his defense of “California values” onto a national stage.

A $105,000 spot that ran in Florida last month — attacking Mr. DeSantis and inviting Florida businesses to come to California — was the opening salvo in a national effort by Mr. Newsom that has included newspaper ads in Texas attacking Mr. Abbott on abortion restrictions and a highly publicized trip to Washington, D.C., to discuss, among other things, gun legislation.

film production incentives during the pandemic, has banned nearly all abortions since the Roe v. Wade reversal. And Georgia, which has one of the nation’s most generous packages of film production incentives, has granted fetuses full legal recognition. This week, a Georgia tax agency found that pregnant women could take a $3,000 personal tax exemption for any fetus with a detectable heartbeat.

Mr. Newsom noted that California’s abortion rights are among the most secure in the nation. The state has also enacted some of the nation’s toughest laws on gun safety and civil liberties for L.G.B.T.Q. people.

California’s film tax credit — which the state created in 2009 after productions began decamping for Canada — has been of debatable value, even with an expansion and overhaul in 2014. The incentive allows filmmakers to recoup as much as 25 percent of their spending — up to the first $100 million — on crew salaries and other costs, excluding star salaries. But other states, including Georgia, offer more significant rebates.

Critics complain that the tax credit encourages bidding wars and rarely keeps productions in the state over the long term. A 2019 analysis by the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found that one-third of the projects that received the subsidies probably would have been made in California regardless.

“While the credit probably caused some film and television projects to be made here, many other similar projects also were made here without receiving any financial incentive,” the report said.

another study, conducted this year for the Motion Picture Association by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., that concluded that California’s program had helped create more than 110,000 jobs and tens of billions of dollars in economic output. In recent years, the tax credit has also helped bring shows such as “American Horror Story,” “Veep” and “Lucifer” back from other states and countries to California.

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Big Trouble in Little Loving County, Texas

MENTONE, Texas — In America’s least populated county, the rusting ruins of houses, oil drilling operations and an old gas station interrupt the sun-blanched landscape. A hand-painted wood sign still promises good food at “Chuck’s Wagon” to drivers along State Road 302, though the proprietor died months ago and the wagon is gone.

Apart from the brick courthouse, the convenience store packed with off-shift oil-field workers and the lone sit-down restaurant where you’re liable to see the sheriff at lunch, everything else that the county’s 57 recorded residents might need is a ways away. No school. No church. No grocery store.

But while it might seem quiet, all has not been well in Loving County. The first sign of the brewing conflict came last spring with the killing of five cows, shot to death and left in the dry dirt.

told Texas Monthly in the 1990s.

In 2020, the U.S. census counted 64 county residents of all ages. That same year, 66 people voted for president in the general election. The census estimate has since gone down to 57 people, though that does not include the oil field workers who stay in temporary camps that dot the landscape.

Among the contested local races in November, Brandon Jones’s wife is running against the county clerk, who is Skeet Jones’s sister. And a county commissioner, who was among those arrested after showing up for jury duty, is also facing a challenge.

“Before all this, I really thought I liked politics,” said the constable, Brandon Jones. “But now, not so much.”

told NBC News that he “never, never, ever had a conversation about stray cattle with the judge.” A sheriff’s deputy, Noah Cole, told The Times that the office had no role in the investigation.

With what happened to the dead cattle a lingering mystery, the cow cop hatched a plan to catch any rustlers in the act.

Mr. Baker released three head of unmarked cattle, with microchips, as bait. Eventually, they were caught and brought to market by Skeet Jones and his ranch hands, Mr. Baker wrote.

In late May, a dusty column of law enforcement trucks tore down the dirt road to the Jones family ranch.

“It was just crazy,” said Jacob Jones, the county judge’s son, who was working at the ranch as a scrum of officers arrived.

in an interview with NBC, saying he had “free rein” as judge that gave him “a sense of power and impunity that he can do whatever he wants.”

Senate Bill 1111, changed things. The law was designed to stop people from registering to vote in places where they don’t live in order to sway elections, which has occasionally occurred in Texas.

to H-E-B if we want decent groceries. They could live out here if they wanted to. But they don’t.”

Mr. Simonsen, the county attorney, conceded that some people may live elsewhere, but said that did not necessarily disqualify them from voting.

So long as you are not voting in two places, he said, “Essentially, your residence is where you say it is.”

The most immediate result of Ms. King’s bid to clean up elections is that it’s now even harder to assemble a jury.

At least two people recently summoned for a grand jury have written to say they do not want to appear because they fear being arrested, Mr. Simonsen said, and the county has been unable to seat a grand jury.

With the flurry of law enforcement activity in recent weeks, it can seem as if everyone in the county will soon need a lawyer. Mr. Simonsen said he was trying to find the humor in it.

“Every morning, I walk over here,” he said, “and when they ask, ‘How’s it going?’ I say, ‘I haven’t been arrested yet!’”

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‘They’re Just Going to Let Me Die?’ One Woman’s Abortion Odyssey

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Madison Underwood was lying on the ultrasound table, nearly 19 weeks pregnant, when the doctor came in to say her abortion had been canceled.

Nurses followed and started wiping away lukewarm sonogram gel from her exposed belly as the doctor leaned over her shoulder to speak to her fiancé, Adam Queen.

She recalled that she went quiet, her body went still. What did they mean, they couldn’t do the abortion? Just two weeks earlier, she and her fiancé had learned her fetus had a condition that would not allow it to survive outside the womb. If she tried to carry to term, she could become critically ill, or even die, her doctor had said. Now, she was being told she couldn’t have an abortion she didn’t even want, but needed.

U.S. Supreme Court had overturned the constitutional right to abortion. A Tennessee law passed in 2020 that banned abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy had been blocked by a court order but could go into effect.

doctors feared making those decisions too soon and facing prosecution. Across the country, the legal landscape was shifting so quickly, some abortion clinics turned patients away before the laws officially took effect or while legal battles played out in state courts.

Century-old bans hanging around on the books were activated, but then just as quickly were under dispute. In states where abortion was still legal, wait times at clinics spiked as women from states with bans searched for alternatives.

It was into this chaos that Ms. Underwood was sent home, still pregnant, and reeling. What would happen now? The doctor said she should go to Georgia, where abortions were still legal up to 22 weeks, though that state had a ban that would soon take effect.

How would her fiancé get the time off work to make the trip? How would they come up with hotel and gas money? How long did she have until she herself became ill? A new, more terrifying question hit her: What if she felt a kick?

Mr. Queen said he realized his fiancée was pregnant before she did.

She had thrown up almost every morning for an entire week and had started asking for Chinese takeout, which she normally hated. One night in May, after his shift as manager at a Dollar General store, he brought home a pregnancy test for her. He hoped and prayed it would come back positive.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The nurse practitioner told the family it would be able to be fixed through surgery, and that there might be an intellectual disability or developmental delay, possibly seizures. Ms. Underwood and her fiancé were “OK with that,” she said. But she was concerned the baby would have to have surgery just after birth. “I was just so scared,” she said.

They also learned they were having a girl. They decided to name her Olivia, after Ms. Underwood’s grandfather, Oliver.

The doctors referred the family to Regional Obstetrical Consultants, a chain of clinics that specializes in high-risk pregnancy treatments. The practice declined to comment for this article.

There, the family said they learned more devastating news: The fetus had not formed a skull. Even with surgery, doctors said, there would be nothing to protect the brain, so she would survive at most a few hours, if not minutes, after birth.

lift a nearly two-year-old injunction that had blocked an attempt to ban abortions after about the sixth week of pregnancy. The injunction was lifted one day after Ms. Underwood’s abortion was canceled.

Her parents and grandparents, who oppose abortion, took it as a sign to reconsider. They had prayed for God to stop the abortion if it wasn’t supposed to happen, and when it didn’t, they were convinced she should try to carry the pregnancy to term.

“We were just hoping for a miracle,” said her mother, Jennifer Underwood.

They said she should give birth so she could see Olivia, say goodbye and bury her.

She told them no. “I’m doing what I think I can handle,” Ms. Underwood would say later, sobbing in between words.

Mr. Queen’s mother said she supported the couple’s decision from the start. At age 12, she was raped and ended up giving birth to a stillborn baby.

“Religion has nothing to do with it. Sometimes your body just does things to you, and if you have to have an abortion, don’t feel guilty about it,” she said.

As stress on the couple mounted, Mr. Queen quit his job to take care of Ms. Underwood. His mother raised $5,250 to help with travel costs from the crowd funding website GoFundMe. The cash would also help pay for the fetus’s cremation.

Two cars left Pikeville at 2 a.m. in early July for a four-hour drive across state lines and time zones to make the 8 a.m. appointment at an abortion clinic in Georgia. Ms. Underwood, Mr. Queen and his mother were in one car; Ms. Underwood’s parents and one of her brothers followed.

When they stopped at the third Circle K of the night, she squeezed her own mother tight and cried. Her parents had made a last-minute decision to accompany her, even if they didn’t fully agree.

At sunrise, the couple sat in a corner booth at a Waffle House, his hand massaging her back.

She would have a two step-procedure known as a D&E, a dilation and evacuation, over two days. First, she would be given medication to induce dilation, and sent to her hotel room to wait. The next day, she would return to the clinic to finish the procedure. The Georgia clinic’s staff warned the family about protesters outside. As they pulled into the parking lot, they drove by a man with signs showing dead fetuses.

“Are all of you OK with killing babies?” he shouted into a megaphone.

He approached Ms. Underwood’s parents’ car, and her mother rolled down the window.

“We’re on the same side of this as you,” her mother said. “We don’t support abortion, but the doctors said our baby is going to die.”

“You trust doctors more than God?” he replied.

The couple walked side-by-side up a steep hill to the clinic entrance. She wore headphones to drown out the protesters.

Six hours later, they came back out. The parking lot was quiet.

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