Michigan Court Says Pregnant Mother’s Meth Use Not Child Abuse
The Michigan appeals court says the state's child-abuse law doesn't apply to unborn babies. According to the Associated Press, the court threw out the conviction of a woman who used methamphetamine during her pregnancy. Melissa Jones' son weighed less than 4 pounds despite being delivered at full term in Sturgis in St. Joseph County.
In a 3-0 decision released Friday, the court says Michigan law refers to acts that harm a "child" but not a fetus. The court says Jones' prenatal drug use is not a crime under that law. However, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Michigan law states, ”The willful killing of an unborn quick child by any injury to the mother of such child, which would be murder if it resulted in the death of such mother, shall be deemed manslaughter. Also, “Death of quick child or mother from use of medicine, etc., with intent to destroy such child—Any person who shall administer to any woman pregnant with a quick child any medicine, drug or substance whatever, or shall use or employ any instrument or other means, with intent thereby to destroy such child, unless the same shall have been necessary to preserve the life of such mother, shall, in case the death of such child or of such mother be thereby produced, be guilty of manslaughter.”
So, as it is now, a pregnant mother is not abusing her unborn child if she is doing meth.
The 30-year-old Jones was sentenced to at least three years in prison in 2015. It is probable that the child has been sentenced to a miserable life of health problems and being raised by a convict, once released from prison.