Wrongful death laws help people who lose a loved one due to the negligence, reckless actions or carelessness of another person. When it comes to the death of an unborn child, there have been many people who have argued against including such a death in both wrongful death and murder statutes for fear that these laws could turn into a witch hunt against doctors and mothers in the case of abortion.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there is a divide between people who feel someone should be able to sue for the wrongful death of an unborn child and those who feel it should not be legal to sue for the wrongful death of an unborn child. Because of the opposition, states have to carefully examine their wrongful death laws to ensure they appease those opposed.


The biggest issue is that those who support abortion will fight against wrongful death or murder charges for an unborn child because they feel a fetus has no rights as a person. Once the state does give rights, it could introduce issues with abortion laws and subject mothers and doctors to potential lawsuits.

Legal stance

To combat the opposition, wrongful death statutes in most states have a specific note that excludes suing the mother or doctor in the death of an unborn child when the death occurs as a result of a legal medical procedure with consent from the mother. FindLaw also explains that some states exclude the right to sue for the death of an unborn child completely or they limit it to only those cases where the child would have lived if born alive at the time of death.