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Judge: Death link to rat poison "unreliable"

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm •  Published: January 23, 2013

Shuai was eight months pregnant when she ate rat poison on Dec. 23, 2010, after her boyfriend broke up with her. She was hospitalized and gave birth to Angel on Dec. 31. The baby died three days later. Prosecutors who charged Shuai with murder and feticide in March 2011 contend Shuai meant for her then-unborn child to die with her.

The case in Indiana has drawn international attention from reproductive rights advocates who claim it could set a precedent by which pregnant women could be prosecuted for smoking or other behavior that authorities deem dangerous to their unborn child.

"It also highlights the practical reasons why pregnant women should never be subjected to prosecution of this type. The relationship between a pregnant woman and the fetus she carries is the most complicated relationship we have in nature," Pence said. "Newborns and fetuses die of complications often and typically doctors cannot even answer why it occurred, it just happens."

Shuai was released on bond last May. Her trial is set for April 22.

At the time of the autopsy, Clouse had about 2½ years of experience as a forensic pathologist with the Marion County coroner's office. She is currently a professor of forensic pathology at the Indiana University Medical School in Muncie.


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