Court Rules That It's Legal For Moms To Willfully Harm Babies Until Birth

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled a woman who overdosed on heroin while pregnant can't be charged with child abuse

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a mother who used illegal drugs while pregnant can’t be charged with child abuse against their newly born baby under the state’s child protection law.

The court’s opinion was released Friday and said the law’s definition of a child does not include fetuses or unborn children, and the ruling stated the victims must be children, the Associated Press said.

Two dissenting supreme court justices said what should matter is when the injury manifests itself which can happen after the child is born, the Associated Press reported.

The ruling came after a Superior Court ruling in August that upheld a judge's decision that prosecutors could not charge a woman with assault against her fetus because she overdosed on heroin while pregnant, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

A baby spent 19 days in a hospital last year after being born and was treated for drug dependence that created symptoms of severe withdrawal, the Associated Press reported.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge William Shaffer said that the woman who overdosed on heroin while pregnant was "senseless, selfish and heinous" but added he had to follow the law. Butler County prosecutors appealed his ruling, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

A 1997 statute that makes it a crime to hurt or kill an unborn child exempts pregnant women as well as abortion clinics and medical personnel from being charged.

Some prosecutors and child protective services want to be able to press charges against mothers who take illegal drugs during pregnancy as they say it can cause irreparable harm to the fetus, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The lawyer of the mother who overdosed said the supreme court decision was a victory for public health and the rights of women and children, according to the Associated Press.

The Pennsylvania Heath Care Cost Containment Council released a report in December that said opioid use during pregnancy is more than five times more common now than it was in 2000.

Comments (24)
No. 1-22
amdguru
amdguru

How the hell can a law's definition of a child NOT include a fetuse or unborn children! These are some stupid law makers, obviously their liberal! This woman hurt her child and should be imprisoned for it. More female privilege.

BulletMagnetEd
BulletMagnetEd

The law seems designed to protect our unborn from everyone except the mother and the abortion clinic they frequent.

Mama1959
Mama1959

Unborn CHILDren?????????

LEO030
LEO030

And supposedly we live in a civilized society.

Buzz17
Buzz17

This woman willfully & deliberately caused injury &, possibly lifelong impairments, to her unborn child!! And, she gets off scot-free?? These justices need to go to prison for her crime. We live in an age of barbarism.

tball
tball

Time for the county to change the verbiage in their law.

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

I lost a nephew hours after he was born because his mom was addicted to heroin.......that judge is a travesty , sitting on his ivory throne, making this kind of decision ! I am so damn pissed off right now!

Stanracer
Stanracer

Bleeding heart, hug-a-thug liberal judges.

NickyJ
NickyJ

This POS needs to be disbarred. I can’t believe someone would think it fine to hurt a baby before birth. Wtf. What about these little helpless babies who have to go through withdrawal. It’s a horrible thing to see. These children do not stand a chance to live a healthy life. This judge has to be a 51/50

DocRyder
DocRyder

Absolute insanity. This is a political decision intended to protect Roe v Wade.

365
365

As sad as the outcome was, the judge is correct. Judges only interpret law and see that it's properly applied. The law is flawed. It seems some elected representatives need to get off their collective lazy, cowardly asses and fix it.

RoxC
RoxC

Another small step to the total destruction of our Great Nation. When no one is held accountable for their irresponsible acts they will keep doing it.

Bld54
Bld54

If a mother can murder her unborn child then why not harm it? Life at conception must be passed to prevent these types of actions.

joaquinradioman
joaquinradioman

It is alive....do you have to have someone draw it for you.....If you are going by the law, then the law has to be changed!!!!!

61mouse
61mouse

If that's the case then every girl that harms their baby on purpose should have their tubes tied after .

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

The war against children continues.

oneadam
oneadam

God Jehovah called this a child in the womb that He is creating not a worthless piece of flesh called a fetus that may be murdered for the convenience of the mother. These children must be protected as they will repopulate America with American citizens and as Gods children in Christ Jesus Our Lord, God, and Savior! 🇺🇸🙏🦅👮🏻🚔🇺🇸

HH3
HH3

Soooooo to ensure consistency every "endangered" species that is still in the nest or unhatched can be destroyed!! That is if the landowner is a female. Maybe not so if they are male! I'm sure the judge would want to be consistent in the application of the law - - - - - right????

JC12
JC12

Are you kidding me?? How could they let another person knowingly jeopardize someones life by making choices that are harmful not only to themself but the infant being carried by them. That law right there just gave permission for more babies to be born addicted to drugs or worse yet, have life long problems all from preventable causes. That should save your State some money.....yea right!! Treatment and prevention is key, not excusing the damage caused by others. I just don't get it!! You should be held responsible from conception!! Wow....gotta love what our world is coming to??

Systemsgoddess
Systemsgoddess

Isn't that a slap in the face to all mothers who have been arrested for being drug addicts while being pregnant and bore drug addicted babies.

5150
5150

Liberals preach their moral superiority, but have no problem killing or hurting unborn children.

NoOneofConsequence
NoOneofConsequence

Two questions to the lawyer of the mother who over-dosed: How is this decision a "Victory" for the rights of Children. You just argued that the child wasn't a child, it was a thing, and won. Which leads to my second question: Are you high right now? Is she your supplier? How can you graduate law school and be that stupid?