13 States that Have Ruled Unborn Babies Are Children

Source: Kayla Koslosky

Last week, New York state shocked the nation by passing an abortion law that allows pregnant women to terminate their pregnancies up until their due dates. The progressive law is the first of its kind, but New York appears to only be the first of many states who are considering adopting similar legislation. New York now has the most radical abortion law in the nation, and while abortion is nationally legal under Roe v. Wade, many states have written their laws to define unborn babies are human beings.

Here is a list of 13 states that define the unborn as people.

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1. Alabama

Alabama made headlines in 2017 when they declared that an unborn baby was a person. The States legislation that declares this claim was passed into law in 2006 and says that a person, as defined under their criminal code, is “a human being, including an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability.” Any person who intentionally causes harm to the mother causing her to lose her unborn child or who causes direct harm to the unborn child can be charged with criminal homicide or homicide. While Alabama does consider an unborn child a person, this law does not apply in regard to abortion.

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2. Arkansas

As a part of its criminal code, Arkansas defines the term “person,” to include “an unborn child in utero at any stage of development.” The Dust Bowl state also gives the term “unborn child” parameters by deeming that life begins at conception. The legislation reads: “‘Unborn child’ means offspring of human beings from conception until birth.”

Again, these laws do not apply to pregnant women who choose to have abortions, but they do make an important distinction of when the state believes life begins.

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3. Idaho

Idaho breaks down the term “unborn child” using more technical terms. Under their feticide definition, the state defines an “embryo” and “fetus” as any human in utero. The term “embryo” refers to the development of a baby between the second and eighth weeks after fertilization. After the eighth week of pregnancy, the embryo is typically referred to as a fetus.

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4-10. Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas

In Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas the states’ laws define an “unborn child” as a human being from the time of fertilization until birth. Illinois’ criminal law says, “‘unborn child’ shall mean any individual of the human species from fertilization until birth.” In Kansas, under “Alexa’s Law, “‘unborn child’ means a living individual organism of the species homo sapiens, in utero, at any stage of gestation from fertilization to birth.” Kentucky’s legislation echoes Kansas’ nearly identically.  Mississippi, Texas and Oklahoma more specifically refer to unborn babies at “human beings.” In Tennessee, the terms “another,” “individuals” and “another person” include a human embryo or fetus at any stage of gestation in utero.

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11-12. Louisiana and Missouri

Louisiana and Missouri also make mention to intravenous birth in their criminal laws deeming traditionally conceived and IVF babies as “individuals” and “human beings.” Louisiana’s legislation states, “‘Unborn child’ means any individual of the human species from fertilization and implantation until birth.”

Missouri’s reads, “The life of each human being begins at conception; Unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being.”

It continues, “Where section by its terms does not regulate abortions or any other aspect of appellees’ medical practice, it can be read simply to express a value judgment.”

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13. Michigan

Michigan perhaps has the strictest fetal homicide laws of the bunch. While in all of the above-mentioned states, abortion is permitted under their regulations, Michigan lays out a different set of rules. The state’s legislation reads, “Death of quick child or mother from use of medicine, etc., with intent to destroy such child—Any person who shall administer to any woman pregnant with a quick child any medicine, drug or substance whatever, or shall use or employ any instrument or other means, with intent thereby to destroy such child, unless the same shall have been necessary to preserve the life of such mother, shall, in case the death of such child or of such mother be thereby produced, be guilty of manslaughter.” According to U.S. Legal, a “quick child” is a fetus that has developed enough to move within a mother’s womb. This includes but is not limited to fetal heartbeats, measurably fetal brainwaves and discernable movement, U.S. Legal’s website states. This would mean abortion would be illegal in Michigan after a heartbeat can be detected unless the mother’s life is at risk.

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