Legal Rights & Medical Protections for Viable Fetuses - Conrad & Princeton's Law

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After a very costly and emotionally trying round of In vitro fertilization my husband and I conceived 2 identical twins, Conrad & Princeton. We were monitored very closely (without really being monitored) since it was a high risk pregnancy as identical twins share a placenta. Two doctors visits a week to be exact. Ultimately, a failure in my medical care and those of my sons left them dead in my stomach 20 days before their due dates. I cannot share any further details on the specifics of my story as my only claim against the doctors is my pain and suffering. When I am able, I will share every detail of my negligence. 


 This law is to honor my sons and future viable babies to have humane rights when they are under the care and trust of doctors. If a doctor is to make a mistake that results in the harm or death of an unborn child, they will be held legally accountable. Currently the law stands that the child needs to take a breath before a doctor can be held accountable but if the doctor's negligence is the reason the child was not able to take a breath how is this protecting our unborn children from that negligence? 

 The goal is to get this petition in front of a President and Governor that believes a viable fetus has rights and therefore will grant them the rights to protect them and hold doctors to a higher standard of medical care resulting in less negligence and loss of life, especially here in California. 

 I would also like them to have a proper birth certificate. Merriam-Webster defines birth as “the time when a baby comes out from the body of its mother”. If us mothers had to birth a child, dead or alive, they were still birthed. Where is their BIRTH certificate? My scar reminds me of my birth to my sons every single day. The process of having to legally transfer their “human remains” reaffirms to me that they were human beings. The need for the county to sign off before we could cremate them, the same process as any other “human” tells me that they were birthed humans, 20 days from their due date, that deserved rights. 

 How can the birth certificate not state the minute and second they were birthed and the death certificate also state that same minute and second? This piece of paper is what gives them rights? So let them have it and protect them. The county of Riverside gave us a “Fetal” death certificate but they do not even know the time they died in my stomach. What they did know for FACT is when they were born. Do not deny them of their birth.


 We recently discovered that under California Law that babies of any fetal age do not have any legal rights if they do not take a breath. This means that if a Doctor makes an error that leads to their death, the child has no legal rights to pursue legal action. The law basically states that since they never took a breath that they never existed, therefore no birth or death certificate. 

 Since they never took a breath, they were never born therefore could not die. Had they been permanently brain damaged from the negligence the doctors would have been held legally accountable. Had my sons taken a breath for one second and then died, they would have had legal rights. The only protections are for me, the mother because I am alive, for my pain and suffering which is capped at only $250,000 here in California. No wrongful death for not one but two humans, No pain and suffering for my sons in the womb while I was being neglected and NO JUSTICE!

 There are currently bills trying to be passed to raise the pain and suffering for any human for any reason to $1,000,000 which it was at in the 80’s but the doctors threatened to leave the state and stop practicing and lobbied it to be dropped to $250,000. $250,000 is much different in 2016 then it was in the 1980’s. 

 No amount of money can change the way this has absolutely destroyed our family but I can only do my best to share the facts with the people and give these unborn babies a chance to be protected the way they would as stated in CA PENAL CODE 187.

 We share this information because most people do not know that the unborn babies have no legal protections. Yet, if a person shoots a pregnant woman, they are tried for a double homicide. CA PENAL CODE 187 (a), defines murder as the unlawful killing of human being or a fetus with malice aforethought. It is a huge contradiction that is bad for the bad guys and good for the good guys, the doctors. The doctors that we not only trust but go to them for the sole fact to monitor the health of our growing babies. If someone made a poor decision or mistake that led to them accidentally crashing into a pregnant woman, two lives would be legally protected. The point being is that if this is our law and a doctor accidentally neglected me, then where are their legal rights?

 If abortion is illegal at their specific term because they are viable then why do all of these laws continue to protect them against murder and abortion but not against medical malpractice and negligence?

I helped lobby to raise the law in 2014 for up skirt crimes and it is time to use my voice to do it again for Conrad and Princeton. I fight for what is right. 


Conrad & Princeton’s life:

Conrad was very shy and calm. He hid his face at ultrasounds. Princeton was very active and always showed EVERYTHING off. I got to see them grow and love them at my many appointments. I got to see them blink, yawn, swallow, hiccup, kick, grab, and even what looked like a smile in my appointments. They loved when I took baths and when their daddy put his mouth to my tummy and talked to them. They went crazy for his voice. I could literally feel their excitement when I would eat. Princeton and Conrad did poke play with us. Lightly tap to them and they would tap back. They were very much alive. We miss them beyond words and they were stolen by nature but failed by our doctors and the current law. I will fight for them and open the door for future mothers to legally protect them and see doctors put a higher level of care to these very much alive but unborn babies. 

Please sign and share my petition and confirm to my family and I that these boys were alive and human that deserved more than what the law is willing to give them in their contradictions and hypocrisy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. - Brittanie Costa