Fetal Homicide Charge For Drinking While Pregnant

© 1996 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
September 1996

        An American woman has been charged with attempting to murder her fetus by drinking alcohol throughout her pregnancy, including the day she gave birth.

Deborah Zimmerman, then aged 34 and nine months pregnant, entered a Wisconsin bar at 2 pm on 16 March. Halfway through her second drink she confided to the bartender that she was pregnant. He immediately took the drink away and found someone to contact her mother, who took her to the hospital.

In the hospital Deborah Zimmerman swore at the staff and tore off the fetal heart monitors. "If you don't keep me here, I'm just going to go home and keep drinking and drink myself to death," she reportedly told a surgical aide. "And I'm going to kill this thing because I don't want it anyways."

Later that night she gave birth to a girl weighing 4 lb 6 oz (1985 g) who had mild fetal alcohol syndrome. The infant had a blood alcohol concentration that was almost twice the amount for a legal finding of adult intoxication in Wisconsin.

On the basis of these facts, Assistant District Attorney Joan Korb is charging Zimmerman with attempted murder. The possible maximum penalty is 50 years in jail plus a $10 000 (£7000) fine. This would not be Deborah Zimmerman's first time in jail: she served a year in 1983 for killing a Milwaukee man by drunken driving.

"I thought the charges fit the alleged crime," Ms Korb explained. "We need laws in this country against maternal substance abuse." Other observers, however, disagree. "It's dreadful that this has become a legal issue," said Jon Aase, clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico. "I believe this approach is counterproductive. It won't change the dynamics of the woman's life or that of her child." He added: "I can't see the benefit to society in bringing her to trial." Professor Aase said that Deborah Zimmerman deserved treatment in a medical setting, not jail.

Many medical organizations in the United States, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have issued statements against prosecuting pregnant women who misuse alcohol or drugs.

In addition, this approach has been rejected by supreme and appeal courts in every state, said Lynn Paltrow, director of special litigation for the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in New York City. The one exception is South Carolina, which in July became the first state in the United States to rule that a pregnant woman can be prosecuted for endangering her fetus through drug addiction.

Ms Paltrow pointed out that Deborah Zimmerman, an alcoholic since her teens, had been in an abusive marriage, had been raped several times in her life, the last time while she was pregnant, and was probably suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress. Ms Paltrow also warned against the establishment of a pregnancy police force that could take inappropriate measures in its zeal to protect a fetus.

Ms Paltrow cited the case of a woman in San Diego, California, who, having delivered a sickly child who died a few months later, was brought up on charges that she had had intercourse with her husband on the day of her delivery and that she had not followed her doctor's orders. "Once you open that door, there's no closing it," Ms Paltrow said.

Ms. Korb, however, pointed out: "People didn't take drunk driving laws seriously until we started making them pay the penalty. Maybe this will make women who are addicts or alcoholics think twice before getting pregnant, or if they become pregnant, maybe it will give them an incentive to stop the substance abuse." Deborah Zimmerman's case was presented in court on 5 September; the judge is expected to give his decision within 10 days. -NORRA MACREADY, freelance journalist, Irvine, California


“Thou shalt not kill.” ―Exodus 20:13

Please notice that the Holy Bible says “THE BABE LEAPED,” not the fetus...
Luke 1:44, “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation
sounded in mine ears,
the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”


Black Lives Matter Hypocrites Say Its Okay To Kill Lives In The Womb, But Not On The Street!

“Thou shalt not kill.” ―Exodus 20:13



(In the womb, a 20-30 week baby's ability to experience pain is heightened)

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” —Proverb 14:34

The sad truth is that women who have had abortions are GUILTY of murder. Such women have crossed the line, just as Eve did when she challenged God's Word. God says... Thou shalt not kill; BUT, many women today kill anyway, having no regard for God or His Word. Women who think they are exercising their "rights" by having an abortion are in reality foolishly killing their own baby. Do you realize that a baby is aborted by being sucked into pieces while alive, by a vacuum that is 29 times more powerful than a standard vacuum? For more information, please read Abortion Torture Methods. When a women permits a doctor to kill her baby, she is literally handing her beloved child over to an executioner to be tortured to death in a grotesque, painful, and brutal procedure that rivals the Japanese Unit 731 Labs of WWII. 

On the individual level, there is forgiveness for involvement in the sin of abortion. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God will justly forgive those who repent and believe the Gospel (1st Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”). God loves you!

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” —Jeremiah 1:5

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What is a Life Worth? (YouTube video)

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Please take a look at this YouTube video. It will remind you that every human life is precious and that we can see this truth most clearly through the face of a helpless, innocent baby who can do nothing for us but allow us the opportunity to give ourselves to him in love. It teaches that joy comes through giving oneself to another for their own sake and that authentic joy can be experienced in the midst of difficulties and even amidst tremendous sorrow. Mostly, it will reveal the heroic courage and life affirming witness that is possible for those yielded to and animated by the life of the Holy Spirit. Take a look but make sure you have your Kleenex ready.

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Exodus 4:11, “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?”



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If God could hear the voice of Abel's blood crying out to Him from the ground (Genesis 4:10), do you suppose God has missed the cries of those 50,000,000 infants who've been butchered in America since 1973?

“...speaking the truth in love...” —Ephesians 4:15

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 “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil...” —Psalm 97:10

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