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.

Testimony Opposing South Carolina’s Proposed Total Abortion Ban, S.988

On January 24, 2022, NAPW submitted written testimony in opposition to South Carolina’s proposed abortion ban, S.988. The so-called “Equal Protection for Unborn Babies Act” is a trigger ban, meaning it would go into effect immediately if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, in part or whole.

NAPW Files Amicus Brief in Support of Challenge to Arizona’s “Personhood Provision”

December, 2021

In April 2021, Arizona enacted Senate Bill 1457, which broadens the entire Arizona criminal and civil code such that every mention of “person” or “child” includes “an unborn child at every stage of development.” This so-called “Personhood Provision” provides the grounds for state actors in Arizona including prosecutors and child welfare authorities to treat the fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses inside of pregnant women as whole persons with independent rights.

Arrests and Prosecutions of Pregnant Women, 1973-2020

In 2013, the Journal of Public Health Law and Policy published National Advocates for Pregnant Women (“NAPW”) peer-reviewed study documenting arrests, detentions, and equivalent deprivations of physical liberty of women between 1973 and 2005 in which being pregnant was a necessary element of the crime or a “but for” reason for the coercive or punitive action taken.