A Pennsylvania mother is facing criminal charges for allegedly injuring her unborn baby girl during a heroine overdose – a case that is drawing attention to the need for protections for unborn babies.
The Daily Mail reports Kasey Dischman, 30, of East Butler, Pennsylvania, allegedly overdosed on heroine on June 23 and then gave birth to a premature baby girl.
Authorities charged Dischman with aggravated assault of an unborn child, arguing that her overdose caused her unborn daughter to be born prematurely, CBS News in Pittsburgh reports.
State police said Dischman’s baby girl is not doing well in the hospital and may not survive. Reports do not indicate how far along in the pregnancy she was. According to authorities, doctors performed an emergency C-section in an attempt to save the baby’s life, meaning that the pregnancy likely was 24 weeks or later.
“Should the baby not survive, and we’ve talked to the [district attorney], he’s leaning towards filing the criminal homicide charge,” Lt. Eric Hermick, of Pennsylvania State Police told CBS.
Here’s more from the report:
Dischman told police she found the stamp bag of heroin under her couch before she injected herself with it in the bathroom, the criminal complaint said. She also said she had just gotten out of jail days prior for retail theft, and this was the first she had used the drug since getting out.
Dischman’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Andrew Lucas, who is the father of the child, will also be charged. Police say he allegedly lied about what happened to Dischman when police arrived at the home. He claimed she had a seizure disorder.
Treatment for the overdose could have been administered quicker had he disclosed that information initially.
Pennsylvania is one of many states that recognize that unborn babies also can be victims of crimes. These laws protect unborn babies from violence but make exceptions for abortions. Abortion activists often balk at such laws because the legislation recognizes that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected and, in doing so, help the public recognize the truth about abortion.
In June, New Hampshire became the 39th state to pass a law to recognize unborn babies as second victims of violent crimes against them and their mothers, including murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide.
Yet, a few states still do not provide justice for unborn babies in any circumstance. In 2015, Colorado lawmakers rejected such a bill, despite a horrifying act of violence against an unborn baby in their state.
The bill was prompted by a gruesome crime involving Dynel Catrece Lane, who was convicted for attacking a pregnant woman and cutting her 7-month-old unborn baby from her womb. In this unbelievable act of violence, the baby died but the mother, Michelle Wilkins, survived.
In 2016, a judge sentenced Lane to 100 years of prison for assaulting and attempting to murder Wilkins, but Lane did not face any punishment for Wilkins’ unborn daughter’s death.