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.

NAPW Submits Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Impact of the Dobbs Decision

We submitted written testimony at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of their July, 2022 hearing, "A Post-Roe America: The Legal Consequences of the Dobbs Decision." Our testimony covers the devastating impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade.

Confronting Pregnancy Criminalization: A Practical Guide for Healthcare Providers, Lawyers, Medical Examiners, Child Welfare Workers, and Policymakers

For decades, pregnant people across America have been subjected to criminalization and deprivations of liberty on the basis of pregnancy or pregnancy outcomes. Women have been targeted by police and prosecutors, healthcare providers, child welfare workers, and judges who have sought to deprive them of their constitutional rights in the name of "fetal personhood.

With Roe in the Balance, NAPW Launches Multidisciplinary Confronting Pregnancy Criminalization Guide for Medical, Legal, Child Welfare, and Policy Professionals

June 23, 2022

As we await the anticipated fall of Roe and the subsequent loss of the constitutionally protected right to abortion, National Advocates for Pregnant Women today launched a first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary guide to arm professionals with the tools and resources to reject the criminalization of pregnant people and their pregnancy outcomes — Confronting Pregnancy Criminalization: A Practical Guide for Healthcare Providers, Lawyers, Medical Examiners, Child Welfare Workers, and Policymakers.

Medical Experts’ Amicus Brief in Support of Emily Akers, Arrested and Charged With Manslaughter for Pregnancy Loss in Oklahoma

Emily Akers of Oklahoma experienced a pregnancy loss at 20 weeks and was charged with manslaughter based on the theory that methamphetamine use caused the stillbirth. This brief, filed by attorney John Coyle on behalf of local and national medical experts, underscores that there is no evidence-based research to support the prosecution’s theory that methamphetamine causes stillbirths.

Testimony in Support of Louisiana HB 1027: Preventing Criminal Liability Based on Pregnancy Outcomes

Note: this bill failed in committee. A Louisiana abortion ban containing language that would have allowed pregnant women to be charged with homicide in relation to their own pregnancy outcomes, including abortion, is expected to be amended to remove such language after opposition from House Republicans and the state's governor.

Fact Sheet: Wisconsin’s “Unborn Child Protection Act” (Act 292)

This fact sheet provides background information about Wisconsin’s Act 292, colloquially known as the “Unborn Child Protection Act” or the “Cocaine Mom Law.” We call it Act 292 because the Act harms both children and fetuses—it does not protect them—and the previously-used term “cocaine mom” elicits a false, slanderous, and racist trope about people who consumed cocaine during pregnancy, which we reject.

After Four Long Years in Prison, Adora Perez’s Murder Charge for Stillbirth Is Dropped

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2022.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Mary McNamara of Swanson & McNamara LLP, Mary@smllp.law; National Advocates for Pregnant Women, media@advocatesforpregnantwomen.org; and ACLU of Northern California, press@aclunc.

NAPW Client Supports California Bill to Stop Pregnancy Loss Criminalization

NAPW Staff Attorney Samantha Lee testified in support of a California bill that will ensure that no one in the State of California will be prosecuted for ending a pregnancy or experiencing pregnancy loss. In her testimony, Ms. Lee shared a statement from NAPW's client, Chelsea Becker, who was charged with murder for experiencing a stillbirth in Kings County, California.