West Des Moines, IA asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Iowa

Q: If I were to attempt suicide while pregnant in the state of Iowa would I get in trouble

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1 Lawyer Answer
Katherine Sears
Katherine Sears
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Licensed in Iowa

A: If you attempted suicide and *succeeded,* you would be dead. Can't really get in trouble if you're dead, right?

That you're asking this question therefore suggests that you're considering "attempting" suicide *without* succeeding. (I'd call that more of a "gesture" than an "attempt," really.) Rather than asking whether you'll get in trouble for that, consider reflecting on (1) why you would do something like that (are you looking for attention? Be honest with yourself...) and (2) will that hurt your unborn child?

I think the answer to (2) is clearly "possibly," depending on what sort of "attempt" or gesture you're contemplating. That's not really fair, is it? To hurt your baby, who has done absolutely *nothing* wrong and who is completely dependent on you at this point for every aspect of her or his wellbeing?

Please seek immediate medical advice if you're considering suicidal acts, suicidal gestures, or acts of self-harm, including temporary commitment if necessary. Do *not* make decisions now that will harm a baby that you're planning on carrying to term. A suicidal gesture that carries risk of harm to your fetus would be shockingly selfish. You can (and should and must) do better than that, no matter what emotional turmoil you're undergoing. Your moral obligations outweigh your subjective emotional experience. There is nothing in the world that could possibly be so upsetting to you that it merits collateral injury to a baby.

And yes, depending on the specific of what you actually do or attempt, you could face prosecution or other consequences for actions you take during pregnancy.

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