Bei Bei Shuai was charged under a state law similar to one passed in 37 other states and a Federal law signed by President George W. Bush, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1841, that makes it a crime to cause the death of fetus. Exceptions are provided for legal abortions, medical treatments, and so on. Although seen as an anti-abortion bill, the legislation would have the more primary impact of permitting a charge of two counts of murder when an assailant kills a pregnant woman. Did the drafters of the law intend to prevent a woman from causing the death of her child by killing herself? I think if you would have asked the Congressmen who voted for the bill, they would mostly say "yes." Their goal was to save the lives of babies, no matter what. So, I think that this is not a good case for you to say that the U.S. justice system has lost sight of intent.
The Courts, actually, very much focus on the intent behind the language of a statute or the Constitution. As the legal reference book, Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) says in its chapter on Constitutional law:
In construing a constitutional provision, the function of the court is to ascertain and give effect to the intent and purpose of the framers and the people who adopted it.
When interpreting a constitutional provision, a court examines its purpose and intent, and constitutional provisions should be construed in consonance with the objects and purposes in contemplation at the time of their adoption. It is a rule of construction applicable to all constitutions that they are to be construed so as to promote the objects for which they were framed and adopted. It is the duty of a court to interpret the various provisions of a constitution to carry out the spirit of that instrument.
16 C.J.S. Constitutional Law § 58 (footnotes omitted).
In the recent U.S. Supreme Court gun control case of District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 634-35 (2008), Justice Scalia explained "Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad."
Similarly, U.S. courts look closely to the intent of Congress unless the statute is clear on its face. Using Colorado as an example, one court summarized this rule:
In construing a statute, Colorado courts “aim to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the General Assembly”.... “If the language in the statute is clear and the intent of the General Assembly may be discerned with reasonable certainty, it is not necessary to resort to other rules of statutory interpretation”.... “If, however, the language of the statute is ambiguous, or in conflict with other provisions, [courts] then look to legislative history, prior law, the consequences of a given construction, and the goal of the statutory scheme, to ascertain the correct meaning of a statute.”
Toy v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, 2014 WL 321213 (D. Colo. January 29, 2014) (footnotes omitted).
As Sutherland's Statutory Construction explains the general rule followed by all American courts:
Courts look to a statute's contemporary history and historical background as aids to interpretation. These aids illuminate the circumstances under which an act was passed, the mischief at which it was aimed, and the statute's “object” or “purpose.” This form of extrinsic evidence about legislative intent may include court opinions, where a statute is an attempt to codify the rationales of relevant judicial decisions. As with all legislative history, courts generally turn to a law's pre-enactment history to discover its purpose, or object, or the mischief at which it was aimed, when the statute's language is inadequate to reveal legislative intent.
2A Southerland § 48.3 (footnotes omitted).
Based on the foregoing, I believe that you have misinterpreted Ms. Shiao's prosecution as a failure to understand legislative intent, or to understand it as a move away by courts to follow the intent of legislators in intepreting statutes.