Court rules drug use in preg­nancy isn’t child abuse

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE -

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

The Supreme Court’s main opin­ion said the law’s def­i­ni­tion of a child does not in­clude fe­tuses or un­born chil­dren, and vic­tims of per­pe­tra­tors must be chil­dren un­der the Child Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices Law.

Two jus­tices who dis­sented said what should mat­ter is when the in­jury shows it­self, and that can be af­ter the child is born.

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