Court: Pre-birth drug use not “child” abuse


The Michigan appeals court says the state’s child-abuse law doesn’t apply to unborn babies.

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.

The 30-year-old Jones was sentenced to at least three years in prison in 2015.

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