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It has long been discussed if the unborn child had, or has, any rights.  In some stated such as Alabama, the Supreme Court has determined the definition of a “child” would include the unborn fetus.  In other states such as Tennessee, women that abuse drugs while pregnant could be criminally charged for harm done to their babies staring July 1, 2014.

This holds ramifications for everyone involved. New definitions will need to be put in place regarding what constitutes harm; gestational age qualifications; and a clarification of when harm is permissible (e.g. narcotics are commonly used during labor to ease the pain of the mother).

Disclaimer: Heightened emotions arise when discussing the rights of women and what they are permitted to do with their body, versus the rights of children before they are born. This blog post is in no way a stance related to either side, but simply a commentary on a rising issue in the criminal system. 


This month’s criminal topic is the Criminalization of Drug Use During Pregnancy. Topics covered are:

  • Still-Born Births (6/6/14)
  • Drug Effects on the Fetus (6/13/14)
  • Legal Implications – mother (6/20/14)
  • Legal implications – fetus (6/27/14)

Note: To see all posts in this topic, click here.

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