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Court of Appeals: Fetus is not a child under state law

Scales of Justice photo
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0

The Michigan Court of Appeals says a fetus is not protected under the state’s child abuse law. 

The court ruled there is no specific mention of protecting a fetus in the Michigan statute. And it threw out the woman’s guilty plea, although she acknowledged using methamphetamine while pregnant.

Ed Rivet is with the anti-abortion group Right to Life of Michigan.

“This issue has created a conundrum for our movement for a very long time,” he says.

Rivet says the court ruled correctly here – even though the organization typically wants protections for a fetus in state law.

In this instance, though, he says making drug use while pregnant child abuse would create what he calls a “perverse incentive” for a woman to get an abortion to avoid criminal charges.

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