Pregnant women in Pa. won’t face charges for taking illegal drugs

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Pennsylvania’s highest court says mothers who use illegal drugs while pregnant can’t be considered perpetrators of child abuse against their newly born children under the state’s child protection law.

The court’s main opinion issued Friday says the law’s definition of a child doesn’t include fetuses or unborn children, and it says victims of perpetrators must be children.

The two justices who dissented say what should matter is when the injury manifests itself, and that can be after the child is born.

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