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Woman Convicted of Cutting Unborn Baby From Womb

Mother lived, but baby did not survive
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 23, 2016 11:54 AM CST

(Newser) – Jurors have convicted a Colorado woman of cutting a stranger's baby from her womb in a gruesome case that reignited the debate over the legal rights of fetuses. The jury found Dynel Lane guilty of attempted first-degree murder, assault, and unlawful termination of a pregnancy in last year's attack, the AP reports. Prosecutors say Lane went to great lengths to convince others she was expecting a baby before luring Michelle Wilkins to her home with a Craigslist ad for maternity clothes. She then hit and choked Wilkins before using two kitchen knives to cut out the unborn girl.

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Wilkins, who was 7 1/2 months pregnant, survived, but her baby died. Prosecutors say they couldn't charge Lane with murder because a coroner found no evidence the fetus lived outside the womb. That prompted Republican legislation that would've allowed murder charges for killing a fetus, but Democrats rejected it. Colorado lawmakers feared such a law would be used to restrict abortions. The jury reached a decision on Lane's fate Tuesday morning after a total of about seven hours of deliberations. (Read more attempted murder stories.)

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