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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 9: Voluntary Manslaughter of an Unborn Child

If a person kills an unborn child, he or she is subject to a sentence similar to that of murder. However, if this killing is done in the heat of passion, the crime can be reduced to voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child.

Like second-degree murder, the offender must have been provoked into a sudden passion, and that provocation must be sufficient enough to excite a reasonable person. The defendant must have also known that the woman was pregnant at the time of the commission of the offense.

If you have been charged with voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child and are unsure where to turn, contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer for advice on legal strategy.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been charged with voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 9 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 9

Sec. 9-2.1. Voluntary Manslaughter of an Unborn Child.
    (720 ILCS 5/9-2.1)

(a) A person who kills an unborn child without lawful justification commits voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child if at the time of the killing he is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by another whom the offender endeavors to kill, but he negligently or accidentally causes the death of the unborn child.

Serious provocation is conduct sufficient to excite an intense passion in a reasonable person.

(b) A person who intentionally or knowingly kills an unborn child commits voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child if at the time of the killing he believes the circumstances to be such that, if they existed, would justify or exonerate the killing under the principles stated in Article 7 of this Code, but his belief is unreasonable.

(c) Sentence. Voluntary Manslaughter of an unborn child is a Class 1 felony.

(d) For purposes of this Section, (1) "unborn child" shall mean any individual of the human species from fertilization until birth, and (2) "person" shall not include the pregnant woman whose unborn child is killed.

(e) This Section shall not apply to acts which cause the death of an unborn child if those acts were committed during any abortion, as defined in Section 2 of the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, as amended, to which the pregnant woman has consented. This Section shall not apply to acts which were committed pursuant to usual and customary standards of medical practice during diagnostic testing or therapeutic treatment. (Source: P.A. 84-1414.)

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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