Woman charged with murder for death of stillborn

A mother, who allegedly ignored medical warnings to have a Caesarean section when pregnant to save her twins, was charged yesterday with murder after one of the babies was stillborn, reported the Associated Press.

An autopsy found the baby died two days before its Jan. 13 delivery and that it would have survived had Rowland agreed to a C-section when doctors advised her, during one of her four medical visits between Christmas and Jan. 9, reported the AP. The other baby is living.

Prosecutors said Melissa Ann Rowland refused the C-section for purely cosmetic reasons – she did not want to be scarred from the surgery. A nurse told police the 28-year-old said she would rather "lose one of the babies than be cut like that."

In January, the state Supreme Court ruled that unborn children at all stages of development are covered under the state's criminal homicide statute, except in the case of abortion.

The law has been used to prosecute women who kill or seriously harm their babies through drug use, reported AP. This is the first time it is being used because a woman failed to follow her doctor's advice.

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