child destruction

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An act causing a viable unborn child to die during the course of pregnancy or birth before it has an existence independent of its mother. If carried out with the intention of causing death, and if it is proved that the act was not carried out in good faith in order to preserve the mother's life, the offence is subject to a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. Governed by the Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929 (s 1), this offence fills the gap between murder (the unlawful killing of a living being) and abortion, which is the procuring of a miscarriage.

Subjects: Law.

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