Citizens divided on fetal homicide law - 409 participants

Feb 15, 2017

A fetal homicide law would allow prosecutors to file murder charges if a pregnant woman is the victim of a crime that results in the death of the fetus she is carrying. There are two bills currently being considered by the New Hampshire Legislature that would implement this policy in New Hampshire, SB 66 and HB 156. Read more about this issue. On February 15, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH pass a fetal homicide law?”  

“Should NH pass a fetal homicide law?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Fetal Homicide New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 409 participants gave 936 responses

A total of 87% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 13% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 409 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 936 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

[Note: Citizens Count NH also received additional comments from 49 individuals from outside New Hampshire.]

What Participants Said:

Yes: 50% of ‘yes or no’ respondents were in favor of passing a fetal homicide law in New Hampshire.

  • “How could anyone possibly be opposed to punishing someone who murders another person's baby?”
  • “If a woman is pregnant and a drunk driver hits her and the unborn child dies, he or she should be charged with vehicular homicide, not just driving under the influence.”
  • “If my child were murdered, there should be punishment for it regardless of if it was before or after birth.”

No: 50% of ‘yes or no’ respondents were opposed to passing a fetal homicide law in New Hampshire.

  • “On its face it seems reasonable, but I can see how it's a slippery slope towards other things that could get out of control.”
  • “This only leads to women being put on trial for miscarrying.”
  • “No, unfortunately, because as long as abortion is legal if this law is passed, it would imply that the ‘fetus’ is now a baby only because the mother wants it to be. You can't have it both ways.”

Other: As noted above, 13% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues.

  • Uncertainty: “I am on the fence. I believe that if someone harms a woman while pregnant [they] should be held responsible but I see too many loopholes that don't necessarily protect women.”
  • Philosophical questions: “Isn't it ironic that one must jump through hoops… to adopt a cat, dog, or other animal, but any idiot can have a baby.”
  • Abortion debate: “I only believe in abortion in cases where the mother’s life is at risk due to the pregnancy or in cases of pregnancy caused by rape.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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Related Bill

SB 66 (2017)
Bill Status: Signed by Governor
Hearing date: Mar 22, 2017
HB 156 (2017)
Bill Status: In Committee
Hearing date: Feb 07, 2017


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