HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Angering both sides of the abortion debate, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a fetus is a body part, akin to teeth, skin and hair that are eventually shed.
The ruling unanimously upheld the conviction of a man who tried to induce a miscarriage by slipping his girlfriend labor-inducing drugs. Edwin Sandoval argued he could not be charged with attempting to commit aggravated assault because the fetus was the target, not the mother.
Though the court held that the 5-week-old fetus was part of the woman’s body, Chief Justice William J. Sullivan issued a separate concurring opinion saying a fetus might have “its own independent existence.”
“In other words, the fetus may both be a part of its mother as well as its own individual being,” Sullivan wrote.
Anti-abortion groups applauded the court’s protection of the fetus, but criticized the identification of a fetus as a body part.