Who Do Fetal Homicide Laws Protect? An Analysis for a Post-Roe America

After the 1973 Roe decision, anti-abortion groups responded with a strategic plan to reverse the decision and recriminalize abortion through laws that seek to codify the belief that life begins at conception. Some of these criminal statutes create a new crime for causing a pregnancy loss by injuring a pregnant person, and others expand the definitions of "person" or "another" to include zygotes, embryos, and fetuses under existing criminal codes for murder, manslaughter, or related charges.

When Fetuses Gain Personhood: Understanding the Impact on IVF, Contraception, Medical Treatment, Criminal Law, Child Support, and Beyond

After suffering setbacks, the fetal personhood movement has gained support. The theory of a fetus as a legal person has become the framework of anti-abortion states and was highlighted in Justice Alito's majority opinion in Dobbs, creating a path for a fetal right to life argument under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.