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Old 05-09-2019, 06:31 AM
HMS Irruncible is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,291
In 2014 Georgia tried to charge a woman for murder after a miscarriage in the 2nd trimester. She had taken some abortifacient pills.

The prosecutor later determined that mothers were immune from punishment under the law of the time. The new law closes that loophole. Mothers are now liable for murder or manslaughter charges depending on whether someone else thinks their action caused the death of their fetus.

Further, they are liable to civil action to some other party acting as parent who can recovery damages for the value of the lost "child". So we'd allow, say, a rapist in jail to use the threat of lawsuit against a woman to force her to give birth to his child - which presumably she'd be on the hook for parental duties as well. This is what the law allows for.

The scary thing is the law leaves a wide interpretation of how a mother would cause her own miscarriage. Someone seen having a glass of wine or a cigarette, or going for a jog, and then has an unrelated miscarriage later, could find themselves on the hook for a murder charge if a crazy mother-in-law pursues it. Keeping in mind that fetuses are now people, we now have the risk of a crazy mother-in-law and a non-medical prosecutor deciding whether a woman killed her child with a cigarette, a glass of wine, or vigorous exercise.

Some will of course ask "where did this actually happen" and my response would be that it doesn't matter. If the law allows a ridiculous and unconscionable outcome, then it's a ridiculous and unconscionable law.