Fetal Homicide Law and Legal Definition

Fetal homicide is the act of killing an intrauterine fetus. The natural death of a fetus is not fetal homicide. Fetal homicide is the purposeful or incidental killing of a fetus due to a criminal human act. Many state courts have held that the fetus must be viable, capable of sustaining life outside the mother’s womb for the fetal death to be considered a fetal homicide. Fetal homicide is also known as feticide or child destruction.

Pursuant to section 187(a) of the California Penal Code Section, murder is the illegal killing of a human being or fetus by another human being with malice aforethought.