March 31, 1934


JAMA. 1934;102(13):1107. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750130131035

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Unborn Child Entitled to Necessaries of Life.—  An information was filed against Sianes charging him with violation of section 270 of the California Penal Code, which requires the father of a minor child to furnish necessary food, clothing, shelter and medical attendance. The section, as amended in 1925, provides that "a child conceived but not yet born is to be deemed an existing person in so far as this section is concerned." A demurrer filed on Sianes' behalf was sustained by the trial court, and the state appealed to the district court of appeal, fourth district, California. One of the questions raised by the demurrer was whether a man could be compelled to provide for an unborn child indirectly, when it was impossible to do so directly. The appellate court gave an affirmative answer, quoting with approval People v. Yates, 114 Calif. App. (Supp.) 782, 298 P. 961, in part as follows:It is obvious that food, clothing, and shelter cannot be furnished directly to an unborn child. The same is true of medical attendance and other remedial care. Consequently we cannot limit the meaning of necessities, in the case of an unborn child to those which can be directly furnished to it, for to do so would deprive the addition made to the section in that respect in 1925 of any meaning or effect—a result which is to be

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