If you're saying those poor ladies met with an Asshat of a DA? Yeah.. definitely. I can't believe you can have such an evil on the books. I know three women whose miscarriages put them straight into counseling. Definitely on the list of 'why the DA should go to hell' if you ask me.
You're right. On re-reading the Guardian article, it seems these are perverse applications by self-righteous, militant DAs of laws enacted for other purposes. I suspect, though, that it there are not yet homicide laws which explicitly target women who are endagering the unborn with poor lifestyle choices, it will not be long before we see them.
Here, though, is an interesting issue that may come up under such a fetal protection law: mom does illegal drugs during the first trimester of her pregnancy, during which period she enjoys an unfettered right to abort; though she then stops, the baby is born at term severely damaged as a consequence of mom's early bad conduct.
Can mom be prosecuted even though the injurious conduct occurred at a time when she had a near absolute right to terminate the pregnancy?
The right to abort is based on recognition of mom's protected interest in control of her reproductive organs. However, that is not the interest at issue here, as mom presumably was not attempting to abort the pregnancy by taking drugs. And, of course, no one has a right to take illicit drugs, pregnant or not.
Perhaps, even though the state cannot interfere with mom's right to abort prior to fetal viability, it is entitled to insist that, if a woman decides to carry a fetus to term, she must take reasonable steps to protect its health, even during the period in which she would be entitled to terminate the pregnancy. Of course, this sort of retroactive imposition of criminal consequences might induce pregnant women who have engaged in risky behavior to opt for abortions rather than choose, as our hypothetical mom did, to stop engaging in the behavior and roll the dice on having the child. I suspect such a result, though, would be directly contrary to the goals of legislators who might enact such a statute.