When Giving Birth Leads to Psychosis, Then to Infanticide

September 6, 2018

(The Atlantic) – Bolanos’s sentence for killing her child was standard in the U.S. But in some other countries, there are laws recognizing that a woman who has recently given birth has undergone biological changes that may make her more vulnerable to mental illness. Approximately two dozen countries have such “infanticide laws”, including Brazil, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Turkey. These laws are designed to allow for more lenient penalties in cases where a court determines the postpartum mother suffers from mental illness. Exactly what those penalties are varies by country.

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