Skip to comments.Utah Supreme Court rules unborn children qualify as minors
Posted on 12/24/2011 11:11:40 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
The state's high court determined that an unborn child qualifies as a minor child and, therefore, wrongful death lawsuits may be filed on behalf of those who die before birth.
"Although there is no majority opinion, four members of this court hold that the statute allows an action for the wrongful death of an unborn child," Chief Justice Christine Durham wrote. "The term 'minor child,' as used in the statute, includes an unborn child."
Durham wrote that the "plain language ... reveals that the term 'minor child,' as used in this statute, includes an unborn child. The statute does not itself define the term 'minor child,' but in general usage the term 'child' may refer to a young person, a baby, or a fetus."
She said current Utah code would allow for a wrongful death action as soon as the child is conceived.
Justice Ronald Nehring issued a dissenting opinion in the case. He said "(1) the plain meaning of 'minor child' does not include a fetus, (2) a wrongful death cause of action may only be recognized through clear legislative direction, and (3) a construction of 'minor child' that encompasses an unborn fetus creates absurd results under our laws."
"I believe that our states populace would find the reference to a fetus as a 'minor child' quite bizarre," he wrote. "In fact, the usage of 'minor child' to refer to a fetus is far from being general. It is unique. It is usage specific to anti-abortion political rhetoric an issue with which we are not concerned here."
The question of whether Utahs wrongful death statute allowed for action on behalf of an unborn child came before to the state's high court from U.S. District Court. A Utah County couple filed suit after their child was stillborn in 2006.
(Excerpt) Read more at deseretnews.com ...
A step in the right direction!
“They can’t vote or buy beer.”
So, if a pregnant woman in Utah smokes a cigarette or drinks a glass of wine, will they charge her with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor?
If not, why not?
Would an abortionst be charged with homicide if he killed a fetus?
Do you have evidence that there is no such thing as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or low birth weight due to smoking?
“Would an abortionst be charged with homicide if he killed a fetus?”
Both the abortionist and mother would be charged with homicide.
Remember... I'm just a cook. But I know killing babies ain't right. Even if they aren't born.
Does this ruling present a problem for you?
It’s a great ruling if it leads to ending abortion in Utah.
However, there may be some unintended consequences such as charges against pregnant women who are may contribute to the delinquency of their baby.
Talk to the placenta! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to have to remember that one!
“Does this ruling present a problem for you?”
Not at all. Look at Post 3 where I indicate my support for the decision.
And while I can see where this may lead to criminal charges against pregnant women who smoke or drink, the law should also lead to murder charges against abortionists and women who pay an abortionist to kill their baby.
And actually... doesn't JD require the kid to do wrong? Wouldn't faginy be the appropriate charge for the pregnant woman?
But even faginy requires the kid to do wrong.
Hard for a kid to do wrong while grounded for 9 months.
Reading your tag line I propose that even a POTUSA can make mistakes, sometimes quite a few e.g. Obama as the latest example.
No problem. Assumption is that no woman in Utah would smoke a cigarette or drink a glass of wine.
Praise the Lord and the Utah Supreme Court!
It should. In the past 4 decades many have proclaimed that it is completely wrong to kill a baby...
...unless the mother did the killing, and then it is called "a woman's right".
If not, why not?
You must be either a lawyer or a democrat.
Yes, if you are wondering, Yes you have just been insulted.
I support this ruling and would love to see its expansion elsewhere.
At the same time, it could end up primarily being just a generous gift to the plaintiff’s bar in medical malpractice lawsuits involving pregnancies. Without caps on damage payments in many states, this could add to med mal costs (and hence healthcare costs) somewhat.
However, clearly still a good ruling on balance.