Would ‘pregnancy outcome’ laws protect women who throw their babies in the trash?

August 3, 2023 in News by RBN Staff


Source: Live Action


News broke last week that 19-year-old Alexee Trevizo had attended prom just weeks after giving birth to a baby boy and hiding him in the hospital garbage, leaving him to suffocate. Under new laws in certain states, many experts have stated that such an act could be considered a “pregnancy outcome” — and therefore, would be legal.

Trevizo lives in New Mexico and is currently facing the charges of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of her son. An autopsy revealed he had suffocated. But if she convinces a jury she didn’t know she was pregnant, will she be acquitted of killing him?

California Governor Gavin Newsom and Colorado Governor Jared Polis have both signed into effect laws that would prohibit prosecution due to pregnancy loss. And in Michigan, Prop 3 would do the same. The language of the legislation could allow for abortion survivors and babies born with disabilities to be left to die and prevent the prosecution of infanticide. It could also allow for mothers who discard their newborns like garbage to avoid prosecution.

California’s law, Assembly Bill 2223, states:

Notwithstanding any other law, a person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty, or otherwise deprived of their rights under this article, based on their actions or omissions with respect to their pregnancy or actual, potential, or alleged pregnancy outcome, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death due to a pregnancy-related cause. (emphasis added)

Because the bill failed to define what is meant by “perinatal death,” there is concern that there would be no investigations into any newborn’s death.

Originally, the bill’s language had said, “a person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty, or otherwise deprived of rights, based on their actions or omissions with respect to their pregnancy or actual, potential, or alleged pregnancy outcome, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death.” The addition of the phrase “to a pregnancy-related cause” was meant to alleviate those concerns.

It didn’t.

Could broad loopholes and vague language legally allow infanticide?

“These amendments added ‘perinatal death due to pregnancy related cause,’” explained Theresa Brennan, Esq., president of Right to Life League. “The amendments do not address the fact that the bill would continue to chill reporting and investigations of ANY perinatal death because, whether that death was ‘pregnancy related’ or not could only be determined after investigation. If it turned out the infant’s death was ‘pregnancy related,’ a term which is undefined, overbroad, and meaningless since even birth is pregnancy related, an immediate private cause of action (with damages starting at $25,000 and attorney’s fees) could be taken against the person who did the investigation. The real aim of this bill is to cover up and block any investigation into late term chemical abortions which studies have proven will result in live births.”

Colorado’s law, HB-1279, states that it would prohibit anyone from:

Depriving, through prosecution, punishment, or other means, an individual of the individual’s right to act or refrain from acting during the individual’s own pregnancy based on the potential, actual, or perceived impact on the pregnancy, the pregnancy’s outcomes, or on the pregnant individual’s health. (emphasis added)

Like California’s new law, Colorado’s law could allow abortion survivors to be left to die and could also affect babies born with a disability or genetic condition that was not discovered until late in pregnancy or was not discovered during pregnancy at all.

Wrongful birth lawsuits have already been filed against doctors who did not accurately diagnose a child while she was still in womb. The bill could allow these parents to abort their child after birth (infanticide). And a teen girl who claims she didn’t know she was pregnant, as Trevizo has, might get away with killing her newborn — especially in a state that would have allowed her to have an abortion right up until birth.

Live Action’s Director of Government Affairs, Noah Brandt, explained, “The intended outcome for every abortion is a dead human child, but abortionists are not always successful in their efforts. On occasion, especially during attempted abortions of preborn children in the third trimester of pregnancy, a child can be delivered and born alive during the attempted abortion. Under the rules proposed by this bill, if a child is delivered alive during an abortion the doctors are under no legal compulsion to provide standard medical care as they would in any other circumstance and attempt to preserve the child’s life. Medical providers would listen to the mother’s instructions. which could include not providing life-sustaining medical care to the child, which would lead to the child’s death, which most reasonable people would consider infanticide. State legislatures must focus on supporting families, not destroying their youngest members.”

Michigan’s Prop 3 prohibits the state from “penaliz[ing], prosecut[ing], or otherwise tak[ing] adverse action against an individual based on their actual, potential, perceived, or alleged pregnancy outcomes.” Again, the state is prevented from filing charges against someone because of her “pregnancy outcome.”

Treating infants like literal garbage

Trevizo isn’t the only mother to leave her newborn to die. Another teen mom in New Mexico was sentenced to 16 years in prison this year for leaving her newborn baby in a dumpster in January 2022. Her baby survived after he was rescued by individuals who heard his cry.

In May, a teen girl was arrested in Ohio when her newborn twins were found dead in a garbage can behind her home. She is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of gross abuse of a corpse, two counts of endangering children, and one count of tampering with evidence.

And just this month, twin newborns were found dead on a Chicago hospital campus. A janitorial crew found a trail of blood while cleaning the bathroom on the first floor of the hospital. The trail led to a cabinet, where the crew found a black trash bag containing the two babies. The 29-year-old mother was found bleeding in an upstairs bathroom shortly before the babies were discovered. Authorities have said she suffered a “medical emergency” and had an “unanticipated delivery.” However, the question remains why she placed the babies in a trash bag and hid them in a cabinet.

Mary Kate Zander, Executive Director of Illinois Right to Life, which posted about the incident on Instagram, explained, “We don’t have a lot of background information, but this is so consistent with what we are seeing in our culture right now, just this total lack of value placed on life.”

These cases are reminiscent of horrific cases used to justify legalized abortion in El Salvador.

California has not been immune to such cases. A newborn baby was found in a trash can in the restroom of a gas station in Fullerton in March. He was rescued, and his mother, Venissa Maldonado, was arrested, but it remains to be seen if she will be convicted or set free.

Likewise, in Michigan this April, a 26-year-old woman in the state gave birth to her preborn baby (believed to be between 20-23 weeks) on the sidewalk and then tossed the baby aside and continued on her way. She was arrested, but there is no evidence at this time that charges have been filed.