2022 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 5 - Crimes Against the Person
Article 6 - Feticide
§ 16-5-80. Feticide; Voluntary Manslaughter of an Unborn Child; Penalties

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-5-80 (2022)
  1. For the purposes of this Code section, the term “unborn child” means a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb.
  2. A person commits the offense of feticide if he or she willfully and without legal justification causes the death of an unborn child by any injury to the mother of such child, which would be murder if it resulted in the death of such mother, or if he or she, when in the commission of a felony, causes the death of an unborn child.
  3. A person convicted of the offense of feticide shall be punished by imprisonment for life.
  4. A person commits the offense of voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child when such person causes the death of an unborn child under circumstances which would otherwise be feticide and if such person acts solely as the result of a sudden, violent, and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation sufficient to excite such passion in a reasonable person; provided, however, that, if there should have been an interval between the provocation and the killing sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, of which the jury in all cases shall be the judge, the killing shall be attributed to deliberate revenge and be punished as feticide.
  5. A person convicted of the offense of voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years.
  6. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to permit the prosecution of:
    1. Any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law;
    2. Any person for any medical treatment of the pregnant woman or her unborn child; or
    3. Any woman with respect to her unborn child.

History. Code 1981, § 16-5-80 , enacted by Ga. L. 1982, p. 2499, § 1; Ga. L. 2006, p. 643, § 2/SB 77.

Editor’s notes.

Ga. L. 2006, p. 643, § 5/SB 77, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendment by that Act shall apply to all offenses committed on or after July 1, 2006.

Law reviews.

For survey article on criminal law and procedure, see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 89 (1982).

For note, “Incubating for the State: The Precarious Autonomy of Persistently Vegetative and Brain-Dead Pregnant Women,” see 22 Ga. L. Rev. 1103 (1988).

For article on 2006 amendment of this Code section, see 23 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 37 (2006).

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