NewsCovering California

Actions

California AG: Don't file murder charges in stillbirths

California Attorney General Rob Bonta
Posted at 10:28 AM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 13:28:18-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s top law enforcement official says prosecutors should not charge women with murder when a fetus dies, even if their behavior may have contributed to the fetus’ death.

Attorney General Rob Bonta acted Thursday after prosecutors in the San Joaquin Valley’s Kings County twice charged women with fetal murder, alleging that their drug use led to the stillbirths.

Bonta said that under his legal interpretation of California’s murder statute, a pregnant woman cannot be prosecuted for the murder of an unborn fetus based on the outcome of her pregnancy.

Kings County prosecutors say Bonta's legal alert fails to include important and relevant facts.