Entries in Fetus (2)


Texas Women Seeking Abortion Must See or Hear About Fetus First

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Women seeking an abortion in Texas must view an ultrasound image of the fetus or hear a description of it before having the procedure done, the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled on Tuesday.

The court's decision overrules a lower court judge who deemed that such a practice violates an abortion provider's free speech rights.

Writing for the three-judge panel, Chief Judge Edith Jones said, "The required disclosures of a sonogram, the fetal heartbeat, and their medical descriptions are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information."

If a woman who wants an abortion refuses to view the image, she must hear the abortion provider's description.  Exceptions are made in the case of rape, incest or fetal abnormality.

Those opposed to the Texas law say that it makes doctors a "mouthpiece" for an ideological message by anti-abortion advocates, thus violating the Constitution's protections against compelled speech.

Pro-choice supporters also said that viewing a sonogram or hearing a fetal heart beat aren't, "medically necessary."  They say the law was intended to harass and intimidate women into not having an abortion.

Similar laws in North Carolina and Oklahoma have been blocked by the courts.

Copyright 2012 ABC news Radio


Woman to Be Charged with Stealing Fetus, Killing Mother

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- A Milwaukee mother of three who allegedly faked a pregnancy is expected to be charged Monday with the murder of a pregnant woman and stealing her fetus. She is also expected be charged with the male fetus' death, authorities said.

The victim of the gruesome attack was identified as Maritza Ramirez-Cruz, 23, the mother of three children, who was just days away from giving birth.

The Milwaukee district attorney's homicide unit is reviewing the case.

"We are anticipating criminal charges to be filed at some point later today," Kent Lovern, deputy district attorney, told Monday.

The suspect, who has not been identified by police, called 911 Thursday to claim that she had given birth, but that her baby boy wasn't breathing.

"During the ensuing investigations, detectives determined that the 33-year-old suspect was not in fact the birth mother of the baby," Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said at a news conference.

The baby died, and according to ABC News affiliate WISN, the suspect -- who neighbors say had claimed to be pregnant -- even fooled her boyfriend into believing the child was his.

Last week he wrote on his Facebook page, "My child was born yesterday and he died an hour after birth. He would have been so cute. My woman is shattered, she doesn't stop crying."

The suspect is the mother of three other children, neighbors said.

On Friday, police found the body of the Ramirez-Cruz in the suspect's basement.

"Evidence at the scene indicated that she had been fatally injured there and that the baby had been removed from her womb by force," said Flynn. It's unclear why Ramirez-Cruz was at the suspect's house.

Neighbors who lived near the suspect told WISN they were shocked.

Jacqueline Bonilla told WISN, "There's no way, shape or form somebody should hurt somebody else and take somebody's baby just to have one for themselves."

Neighbor Nicole Soto, interviewed while holding her 1-year-old son, had thought the suspect was pregnant.

"She was rubbing her belly all the time. She was telling everyone she was, she was getting bigger," Soto said. Keila Perez, who shares a backyard with the suspect, told the station, "It's horrible I can't even -- I can't think of it I just can't see her doing anything like that."

"She's the godmother of my daughter, she has three beautiful kids that she raised by herself and she's been basically married for four years," said Perez. "To me she's a good woman, she's never been in no problems."

Police don't believe Ramirez-Cruz knew the suspect, who likely acted alone.

The rare crime generated headlines a few years ago when a pregnant woman—also 23-years-old— was murdered in Worcester, Mass. Her baby was later found alive in a New Hampshire hospital.

In this case, however, Christian Mercado, the husband of Ramirez-Cruz, must now plan two funerals.

His stepmother, Darla Guiterrez, spoke to NBC affiliate WTMJ on his behalf because Mercado does not speak English.

"He wants everybody to remember that she was a good person. She never did anything bad to anybody and she would help anybody out if they needed help," Guiterrez said, adding that the family did not know the suspect.

"We still can't believe it. We know it's true but we can't believe it and the whole family is taking it real hard," Guiterrez said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio