Colorado Fetal Homicide Bill a Model for Other States

Law Books

Colorado has provided a model for other states to follow.

According to on-the-scene reports from Colorado Right to Life spokesperson Leslie Hanks, a principled, life-affirming Fetal Homicide Bill passed the State House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and will be put to a vote on the House floor.

The proposed 2012 Colorado Unborn Victims of Crime Act states:

If the commission of any crime codified in this Title [18] or Title 42 of the Colorado Revised Statutes is the proximate cause of death or injury to an unborn member of the species Homo sapiens, the respective homicide and assault charges for that death or injury may be brought contemporaneously with the underlying charges.

This language, designed to bring justice to the unborn victims of criminals, is life-affirming because it remains abortion-neutral. Previously introduced bills in Colorado and other states have included clauses which explicitly exclude abortion and affirm the legality of killing the unborn child by a medical procedure. Some bills have even been so abortion-affirming that they could have protected back-alley abortionists from prosecution for the “unlawful termination of pregnancy” as long as “the pregnant woman’s consent is implied.”

Far from undermining personhood, the proposed 2012 Unborn Victims of Crime Act is a great step forward in affirming the inherent dignity of the unborn by conferring legal protection to unborn children victimized by criminals.

Hanks reported that, “Despite a great deal of hand wringing over the language, ‘unborn member of the species homo sapiens’ by Representative Kagan (D- Englewood) and other Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, Republican members found the elegant, one sentence measure to be eminently common sense.”

“It appears that Colorado might have proposed the first-in-the-nation, abortion-neutral Fetal Homicide language that doesn’t further entrench Roe v Wade,” she said.

The language proposed in Colorado’s bill should be a directive to other states interested in pursuing similar legislation. By taking a principled, abortion-neutral stance, we can still reinforce protections for the most easily victimized among us.