Court Dismisses Homicide Charges in Fetal Death

The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled that charges of attempted first-degree homicide and first-degree reckless injury were inappropriate for a Wisconsin woman who gave birth to a daughter whose blood alcohol level was measured at .199. At .199, the baby’s blood alcohol level measured almost twice the legal measure of intoxication. The Associated Press did not report the mother’s blood alcohol level.

The case was closely watched by both abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion activists because it concerned whether or not a fetus is protected under laws that grant “human beings” legal rights.

The court dismissed the charges against Zimmerman, ruling, “The term ‘human being’ was not intended to refer to an unborn child and Deborah’s prenatal conduct does not constitute attempted first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless injury.”

Zimmerman’s daughter is now three years old and in foster care.


Nando Times - May 26, 1999

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