Woman Who Tried To Commit Suicide Now Charged With Feticide

Most people would assume that a pregnant woman so despondent about her life for whatever reason that she would attempt to kill herself should get some sort of help. In Indiana, however, this type of woman should be behind bars for murder, for murdering her own unborn child.

Via The Indystar:

An attorney on Wednesday denounced murder and attempted feticide charges formally filed against an Indianapolis woman who tried to commit suicide while she was pregnant. Her child died as a result.

Attorney Linda Pence, who’s representing Bei Bei Shuai, 34, said the charges are not only unwarranted, but they could prevent other troubled mothers from seeking the help they need.

Shuai admitted to ingesting rat poison during the late stages of her pregnancy in December. Friends took her to a hospital to get help.

Shuai gave birth to a daughter, Angel, who was put on life support but eventually was removed because doctors determined they couldn’t help her. Angel died Jan. 3.

Was the poisoning really just an attempt at a do it yourself abortion, as the prosecution appears to be claiming? If Shuai is charged as such, the state has just declared that any pregnant woman who is hurt in any way that could be seen as self-inflicted could be charge as a potential self-aborter and murderer, as nearly happened in Iowa last year, or passed in Utah after that.

What is upsetting in these cases is that it is the prosecutor who deciding on a motive for a “murder.”  And even worse, that the alleged murder the prosecutor decided on apparently holds much more weight than the life of a woman who nearly died.

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  • bobsutan

    Well, good. If a man kills a pregnant woman he’s often charged with two counts of murder. This tracks along the same lines. If women are held accountable for ending a pregnancy through similar actions, often “cries for help”, then perhaps it’ll curb some future attempts.

  • arekushieru

    Um, no, it’s not the same.  Is the man (but, I must ask, why did you go to all the trouble ensuring that the focus was only on  how the ‘poor menz!’ are affected? I mean, you did know that women can kill other women, right?) that kills a woman a doctor? Is the man killing her or the fetus with her consent?  I would ‘tentatively’ say no to BOTH of those questions.  Abortion is a medical procedure that must be dealt with in a medical setting.  

    If organ donors are held accountable for ending an organ recipient’s life through similar actions, then perhaps it’ll curb some future attempts to make the decision not to consent to organ donation.  But, of course, you won’t do that, only exposing how much more your movement is really about punishment, not fetal life.  ‘Curbing future attempts’, after all, can only mean, in this case, that someone was punished for a physiological behaviour that was voluntarily discontinued.

    And you do realize that by focussing on pregnancy instead of the fetus you’re just underlining that fact even more?

    “Often “cries for help”” and “curb some future attempts”?  Obviously, you don’t believe that a woman can want to end a pregnancy voluntarily.  Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.  I am absolutely disgusted by the thought of pregnancy and the fact that those who don’t inhabit my body (but especially the men) feel they have every right to tell me who can and cannot use it just because I have a uterus.  I would terminate a pregnancy without a second thought.



  • bobsutan

    WTF? She gave birth to the baby, but it died a few days later as a direct result of the mother’s actions while pregnant. That’s no different from me pushing mommy dearest down a flight of steps, her going into labor, having the baby, and the child dying from injuries sustained while in the womb a few hours later. 


    By your logic there’s no way to charge me for the child’s death in any way, shape, or form. 

  • crowepps

    Future attempts to kill themselves?  I hope you realize that people in the middle of committing suicide rarely stop and wonder whether they’ll be arrested after they’re dead.


    It’s interesting that you would use the phrase ‘a cry for help’.  She didn’t get that help, did she?  Instead the father walked out when she was eight months pregnant, his actions being the direct CAUSE of her eating rat poison in an attempt to kill herself.  By your logic, his actions should result in his being charged with attempting to kill her, and with abandonment of his child that led to its death, and he should be found guilty of murder.

  • saltyc

    I do not support laws that define killing a fetus as murder in any way.

    A man who pushes a woman down the stairs should be charegd with assault, battery, attempted murder, etc.

    Attempted suicide has always been treated differently than attempted murder, because in the first case, punishing the perpetrator is the same as punishing the victim, not so in the second case.

    Laws that define ending a pregnancy as murder obviously intrude on women’s rights to bodily autonomy.

    Pretty simple.

  • bobsutan

    She didn’t end her pregnancy. The child was born, but then died as a result of the woman’s actions. She needs to held accountable for that baby’s death.

  • saltyc

    And punishing women for bad pregnancy outcomes never does nay good.

  • arekushieru

    You’re punishing a woman for her biology, either way.  Too bad you didn’t get that so very simple point, eh?