Wed January 23, 2013
Child Abuse Charges Dropped Against Pregnant Woman
The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office has decided not to pursue child abuse charges against an Albuquerque woman for allegedly causing harm to her unborn child.
District Attorney Kari Brandenburg has concluded that New Mexico’s child abuse statute does not pertain to the unborn. 24-year-old Elizabeth Ramirez faced criminal prosecution after a pre-arrest medical exam determined heroin and meth use to be cause of her unborn child’s poor health. Brandenburg told KUNM that the arresting officer probably didn’t understand the law.
Pamela Herndon executive director of Southwest Women’s Law says the district attorney made the right decision.
“We advocate for women and for the position that there should never be child abuse charges against a woman carrying a fetus. Even when or if there is evidence of abuse of illegal drugs because the woman is crying out for help.”
However, pro-life advocate Stephen Imbarrato says he supports the arrest because it shows concern for unborn children.
A family friend says the child was delivered healthy and is being cared for by the mother’s family.