- A Colorado woman accused of luring an expectant mother to a basement and cutting the baby from her belly might not face homicide charges in the child's death because of the way criminal law in the U.S. has become entangled in abortion politics.
Colorado has twice rejected proposals to make the violent death of a fetus a homicide, refusing to join 38 other states and the federal government for fear such a law would be used to restrict abortions.
That could complicate things for prosecutors in the case against Dynel Lane, 34, arrested in the grisly attack at her home Wednesday on a nearly eight-months-pregnant Michelle Wilkins. Wilkins survived. Her baby girl died.
"Under Colorado law, essentially no murder charges can be brought if the child did not live outside of the mother," said Stan Garnett, district attorney of liberal Boulder County.
Keith Mason, the president of Personhood USA, an anti-abortion group that has been pushing for a fetal homicide law in Colorado, called the situation "literally absurd."
Lane remains in jail of attempted murder and other charges.
Attorneys and activists said the key issue will be whether the baby was alive outside the mother and whether the act that led to the death occurred outside her body.