N.H. ACLU Concerned About Fetal Homicide Bill's Potential Impact On Women's Rights

Jun 1, 2017

Credit NHPR Staff

House lawmakers will debate a bill Thursday that would define a fetus as a person in cases of homicide.

The Republican-backed bill has already cleared the state Senate, and if it passes the House, it goes to Governor Chris Sununu, who says he will sign it into law.

The law would only apply in cases where the fetus has reached twenty weeks, but critics are raising concerns about what setting this precedent could mean for the rights of pregnant women. Devon Chaffee is Executive Director of the New Hampshire ACLU, and she says the bill is part of a trend of incremental encroachment on reproductive rights.

"I think it's particularly concerning when it's taken as part of what we're seeing as a national effort to enact these bills intentionally to create this tension between the rights of a fetus and the rights of a woman."

The Republican-backed bill has already cleared the state Senate, and if it passes the House today, it goes to Governor Chris Sununu, who says he will sign it into law. New Hampshire would join thirty-eight other states that have similar fetal homicide laws on the books.

Listen to the full interview with Chaffee here: