SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that an unborn child qualifies as a minor child and wrongful death lawsuits may be filed on behalf of a fetus.
The decision issued this week stems from a case of a Utah County couple whose child was stillborn in 2006. The lawsuit from Amelia Sanchez and her husband claims their child died in the womb after a doctor brushed off her requests to induce labor.
Four of the five justices conclude the "plain language" of the term "minor child" includes an unborn child.
Chief Justice Christine Durham says Utah law allows a wrongful death suit at the point of conception.
Justice Ronald Nehring disagrees. He says calling a fetus a "minor child" is far from general usage and is specific to anti-abortion rhetoric.