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Friday, December 23, 2011

Utah Supreme Court: Term 'Minor Child' Includes 'Unborn Child' or "Fetus'

By Susan Duclos

The Utah Supreme Court ruled that parents of an stillborn baby may file a lawsuit against a health care provider for wrongful death, claiming doctors who provided prenatal care were negligent, resulting in the death of the couple’s unborn child.

The full story is here at Salt Lake Tribune, but LifeSiteNews points to specific segment of the original argument:

The justices were split on the issue. There was no majority opinion released, but four justices agreed the term "minor child" used in the law includes fetuses.

"In my view, a plain language reading reveals that the term ‘minor child,’ as used in this statute, includes an unborn child," wrote Chief Justice Christine Durham. "The statute does not itself define the term ‘minor child,’ but in general usage the term ‘child’ may refer to a young person, a baby or a fetus. The term ‘minor’ then, may refer to the period from conception to the age of majority, thereby encompassing an unborn child."

Justice Ronald Nehring disagreed in his dissent.

"The majority’s conclusion that an unborn fetus is a "minor child" ... is wrong because 1) the plain meaning of ‘minor child’ does not include a fetus, (2) a wrongful death cause of action may only be recognized through clear legislative direction , and 3) a construction of ‘minor child’ that encompasses and unborn fetus creates absurd results under our laws."

This is a limited definition and does not apply to abortion law in general.

More at Desert News, ABC4 written by AP writers.

H/T JGalt9@Twitter.