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Confusion surrounds Estonia’s proposed new law aimed at protecting fetuses

| September 4, 2013

Estonian Minister of Justice Hanno Pevkur has said that a new bill that would make it illegal for pregnant women to engage in behaviors they know to be damaging to the fetus would not necessarily encompass smoking, according to an Eesti Rahvusringhääling (Estonian Public Broadcasting) story.

Previous press stories had indicated that the law was specifically aimed at women who smoked while pregnant.

While under current law, a person can be held accountable for killing a human fetus, Pevkur said the update of the penal code proposed that knowingly damaging the fetus by taking drugs or strong medicine would be illegal.

“Or if actions result in a disability that only surfaces at birth, and the mother knew that she was damaging the fetus, then that will also be punishable,” the minister said.

He added that that did not mean smoking a few cigarettes would result in criminal prosecution.

But what a lot of people will be asking is could the law be used to prosecute women because they smoke while pregnant.

Category: Breaking News

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