Should NH pass a fetal homicide law?
Feb 15, 2017
There is a good chance the Legislature will pass an NH fetal homicide law this year. Such a law allows prosecutors to file murder charges if a pregnant woman is the victim of a crime and her fetus does not survive. The Legislature came very close to passing a fetal homicide law in 2015 and 2016, but the House and Senate could not agree on whether the law should apply to “viable fetuses” – fetuses capable of surviving outside the womb – or fetuses eight weeks and older. Part of the challenge was the threat of a veto from Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, who was unlikely to support a broad fetal homicide bill. Read more about this issue.
"Should NH pass a fetal homicide law?"
Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page Feburary 15, 2017
What Participants Said
Yes: 139 citizens 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: 138 citizens 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: 42 citizens addressed 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.