Constitutional Law

Woman Charged with Killing Infant in Suicide Attempt While Pregnant Is Granted Bond

A Chinese immigrant jailed in Indiana for over a year on charges that she killed her viable fetus by eating rat poison in a suicide attempt while pregnant has lost her bid to have the controversial criminal case dismissed by the state supreme court.

However, in letting stand a prior Indiana Court of Appeals order requiring a Marion County judge to set bond for Bei Bei Shuai, the court also effectuated her potential release, according to the Associated Press and the Indianapolis Star.

Bail was set at $50,000 on Friday for the 35-year-old, who apparently remains incarcerated at this point.

Among other defenses, Shuai’s lawyers are arguing that the state’s position in the case, because she is being prosecuted based on the outcome of her pregnancy, violates her constitutional rights to due process and privacy.

Her lawyer, Linda Pence, “How can it be legal for anyone in Indiana to attempt suicide, but not for a pregnant woman?” asked her attorney, Linda Pence.

But Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said that isn’t what this case is about. Shuai, he said, proved her intent to hurt the fetus by writing in a note to her former boyfriend that she was “taking this baby.”

Shuai reportedly attempted suicide just before Christmas in 2010 after her boyfriend left her. Although she was hospitalized, the 33-week-old fetus initially seemed to be all right.

About a week later, however, doctors detected problems and delivered the premature girl by cesarean section Dec. 31. The baby died from brain bleeding after life support was removed.

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