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OK Supreme Court Rejects Fetal “Childhood” Status

The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling last week declaring that the state’s Children’s Code does not apply to a fetus, overruling a lower court judge’s decision to give a fetus the status of a child to protect it from a pregnant woman’s drug habit. The Supreme Court stated that a fetus is not covered by the Children’s Code, which guides social services agencies in removing children from harmful situations, as it could not “be in need of mental health treatment” or “placed through child placement services.” The fetus in the case was carried to term, and Julie Starks, the woman in question, was given custody of the child. Charges of possession of methamphetamines were dropped.

Sources:

Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report - January 26, 2001