A bill that would make “fetal homicide” a felony criminal act has been put on hold in the Colorado legislature, after concerns were raised that the bill’s language was too vague and therefore Colorado citizens could not be sure if they were violating it or not, according to a recent article in The Republic.
The bill creates a separate criminal charge known as “fetal homicide,” which involves the killing of an unborn child, whether or not the woman carrying the fetus also suffers death. The Colorado state House approved one version of the bill in late 2011, but the state’s Senate has not yet voted on its own version. Rather, the bill is being held by the Senate Judiciary Committee until concerns are resolved.
Opponents are concerned that the bill would prohibit currently legal methods of medical abortion, or would confuse the law so that doctors would not know whether or not the medical treatments they provided to pregnant patients were legal. Opponents also point out that Colorado law already allows for enhanced sentencing for those convicted of harming a person who is pregnant. The bill’s supporters, however, believe that concerns over vague wording are unfounded.
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