N.H. Senate Passes Fetal Homicide Bill

Mar 12, 2015

Credit Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Senators have joined the House in supporting efforts to create a crime of fetal homicide, which would allow charges to be brought for the death of a fetus in certain cases, excluding abortion or other medical procedures.  

Thirty eight states have some type of fetal homicide law. The version passed by senators Thursday applies the death of a fetus that has reached the stage of viability - when it can live outside the womb. A House version passed Wednesday applies the law to fetuses past eight weeks of development. 

Supporters of the bill say it gives appropriate justice to families who lose an unborn child in cases of car crashes, assaults or other criminal actions.  But opponents say it could lead the state down a path toward limiting abortion rights.