Unborn Child Law and Legal Definition

An unborn child is a child in the mother’s womb. The term is often seen used in debates over the personhood of the fetus before birth. It also used in the context of deciding the legal and moral status of abortions.

In the U.S., the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 recognizes an unborn child as a legal victim, if s/he is injured or killed during the commission of any of over 60 listed federal crimes of violence. Pursuant to 18 USCS § 1841, the term "unborn child" means a child in utero, and the term "child in utero" or "child, who is in utero" means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.