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Cleveland State University

Medicine and Health Sciences

Attempted suicide

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Shifting Our Focus From Retribution To Social Justice: An Alternative Vision For The Treatment Of Pregnant Women Who Harm Their Fetuses, April L. Cherry Jan 2015

Shifting Our Focus From Retribution To Social Justice: An Alternative Vision For The Treatment Of Pregnant Women Who Harm Their Fetuses, April L. Cherry

Journal of Law and Health

The ways in which society responds to pregnant women whose behavior purportedly harms their fetuses can be explored from a variety of legal vantage points. This article argues that the criminal law model currently used is ineffective. The assignment of criminal liability to pregnant women is often rooted in fetal personhood and maternal deviance discourse. Criminal law solutions fail because they fail to take into account the fact that maternal behavior is often the result of a myriad of the social and economic conditions over which pregnant women have little or no control. The criminal law model, therefore, simply punishes ...