Texas Could Be First State to Have Infanticide Law Bill would make postpartum disorder legal defense
Postpartum mental disorder could be used as a legal defense for women who kill their children under a bill introduced in the Legislature.
Yates drowned her five children -- ranging in age from 7 years to 6 months -- in June 2001 at her family's home in Houston. She was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2002.
Schlosser, who killed her 10-month-old daughter in 2004 by cutting off her arms with a kitchen knife, was recently released from the state mental hospital where she'd been sent after being found not guilty by reason of insanity.
"Anytime something novel like this is proposed," he said, "it needs to be fully vetted so that legislators can make informed decisions and be sure there are no unintended consequences."
Postpartum depression is recognized as a legal defense in at least 29 nations, including Britain, which has had an infanticide law since 1922.
"We do not want women who abuse children to use this defense," Stone said. "There are very clear guidelines for postpartum psychosis."