Duquesne Law Review


Advances in scientific knowledge of fetal development continue at a rapid pace. This expansion has enhanced the physician's ability to prevent fetal defects and to treat the child in utero. This article examines when, if ever, the state may intervene in the life of a pregnant woman to prevent abuse or neglect of her unborn child. The author examines the legal status of the unborn child through an historical examination of property, tort and criminal law. He then analyzes state interests in protecting the unborn as balanced against the rights of the parents. In conclusion, the author contends that a framework should be developed within which the rights of the unborn child can be protected.

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