Fetal homicide: Emerging statutory and judicial regulation of third-party assaults against the fetus

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Abstract

Under common law, a crime resulting in the death of a fetus that was viable but not "born alive" was viewed as a transgression less serious than murder. Accordingly, courts did not allow parents to bring wrongful death suits for the death of a fetus. In the past decade, however, several states have amended their criminal or civil statutes to include the specific crime of "feticide" or "fetal homicide," and the Federal government is considering similar legislation. This paper examines the history and current status of criminal and civil law regarding the third-party killing of a fetus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-231
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

Keywords

  • Fetal homicide
  • Fetal rights
  • Feticide
  • Wrongful death

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