INDIANAPOLIS, March 17, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An Indiana woman has been charged with murder after her attempted suicide left her alive, but killed her unborn child.
Bei Bei Shuai, 34, stands accused of attempted feticide after consuming rat poison at 33 weeks pregnant on December 23. Shuai, who is from China, says she had tried to kill herself after her boyfriend left her, according to a police statement.
The suicide attempt failed after a friend found Shuai slumped in a car outside her home and rushed her to the Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Shuai’s daughter Angel Shuai was born alive on New Year’s Eve, but was taken off life support on Jan 3. Police say an autopsy determined that the child died from bleeding in the brain due to chemical poisoning.
Shuai’s attorney Linda Pence said that the charges should be dismissed, saying that Shuai loved her baby and that the betrayal of her boyfriend, who had promised to marry her and help raise her daughter, triggered an act of desperation. Pence also argued that the law against killing unborn babies was intended to protect unborn victims of third-party attacks, such as muggers.
“The mother controls her body. The mother has a right to live. This is not the place to address these horrid kinds of situations,” said Pence. The attorney is receiving legal help from National Advocates For Pregnant Women, which opposes overturning Roe v. Wade as well as legislation limiting abortion.
Dave Rimstidt, Marion County chief trial deputy, contended that the charges were not issued carelessly.
“Every charging decision is very difficult and goes through a process where we consider all the facts, all the circumstances, and under this situation, we believe we’ve charged the two charges we can prove,” said Rimstidt, according to a report by TheIndyChannel.com.
The court has entered an automatic not guilty plea on behalf of Shuai, who remains in custody.