This is very specific to the reported case of Marshae Jones, from what I learned in the article from The Guardian: Alabama: pregnant woman shot in stomach is charged in fetus's death

The given reason of her being charged was, according to the article, of her getting into an argument, thus exposing the unborn's life to the shooter.

My question is, would this case be different if the baby was a newborn, and carried in a baby wrap or baby sling?.

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    If I'm not mistaken, she is charged not because she started the fight, but because she knew the other person had a gun and continued the fight knowing she or her child could be injured or killed. This would be more akin to swinging the baby in the baby wrap or sling knowing the baby could be injured or killed but continuing to do it anyway. Technically she is guilty of reckless endangerment of her child resulting in death (pending the trial obviously). – Ron Beyer Jul 3 '19 at 3:59
  • @RonBeyer This would make answer in it self. – hitchhiker Jul 3 '19 at 5:43
  • @ChrisHayes I would like to specifically refer to those type of carriers, where the baby is very close to the person and mostly covered, thus creating a situation very much like an unborn is in. – hitchhiker Jul 3 '19 at 5:45
  • This is a fair question. – Muze Jul 5 '19 at 22:53

It would not matter. Alabama is a state with a fetal homicide law, where killing a fetus is legally the equivalent of killing a person (there is an exception for doctors). In this case, the government is relying on the definition of homicide where one "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence causes the death of another person". That wording is loose enough that it could include starting a fight which resulted in a death. In Washington, the law is much narrower – it requires "intentionally and unlawfully kills an unborn quick child by inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child", so the mother would not be culpable even if she started the fight.

  • So in Washington, attempted suicide of the mother could count? – gnasher729 Jul 3 '19 at 9:53
  • It would have to be successful, not just attempted. Suicide is not a crime, even for a pregnant woman. – user6726 Jul 3 '19 at 12:59
  • I mean attempted suicide leading to injury of the woman, and as a consequence death of a child. – gnasher729 Jul 3 '19 at 14:49
  • Interesting question. The law states "intentionally and unlawfully kills an unborn quick child by inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child". Self-injury is not unlawful. A narrow reading of "intentionally" (applying only to "kill a child") is probably not possible on grounds of legislative intent. I don't think the question has been tested in the courts. – user6726 Jul 3 '19 at 15:30
  • Agreed, this refers to an interesting question, although not the one at hand. I suggest, someone ask this as a separate question. – hitchhiker Jul 6 '19 at 19:56

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