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.

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.

Progress for Adora Perez: Unlawful Manslaughter Conviction for Stillbirth Overturned

On March 18, 2022, a judge in Kings County, California reversed Adora Perez's guilty plea and vacated her 11-year sentence, sending the case back to the trial court for new proceedings. In 2018, Adora Perez, poorly advised by her court-appointed counsel, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter of her fetus, a crime that doesn't exist in California.

Statement in Support of California AG’s Statewide Alert Regarding Legal Protections for Pregnant People

Remarks by Samantha Lee, Staff Attorney, as part of Attorney General Rob Bonta's press conference on 1/6/2022.

Thank you, Attorney General Bonta. My name is Samantha Lee and I am a staff attorney at National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

As an organization dedicated to advancing the civil and human rights of all people capable of pregnancy, National Advocates for Pregnant Women is honored to stand with Attorney General Bonta in support of this legal alert instructing district attorneys, police chiefs, and county sheriffs in California not to misuse the state’s murder statute to criminalize people for their pregnancy outcomes.

NAPW Files Amicus Brief in the Case of Adora Perez, a California Woman Serving an 11-Year Sentence for Manslaughter After Experiencing a Stillbirth

Adora Perez was charged with murder in 2018 after she delivered a stillborn baby at Adventist Hospital in Hanford, California. District Attorney Keith Fagundes claimed, without scientific basis, that the stillbirth was caused by methamphetamine use. Penal Code Section 187 punishes the “unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.