DEBATES

05.24.135:46 PM ET

Manslaughter for Miscarriages?

Mississippi to rule on bringing charges against some women who lose pregnancies.

Two months after giving birth to a stillborn baby girl, Nina Buckhalter was indicted for manslaughter because she was found to have methamphetamine in her system. If prosecuted, Mississippi officials could set a “dangerous precedent” that “unintentional pregnancy loss can be treated as a form of homicide,” said one of Buckhalter’s lawyers. But experts say that the cause of any miscarriage or stillbirth is hard to pinpoint. Some fear that it could cause women, especially those with drug addictions, to seek out more abortions. This case raises the question: even though no one should be using drugs while pregnant, what are the boundaries—especially when underlying health conditions and even simple foods like lunch meats are discouraged during pregnancy?

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