New Hampshire House Passes Fetal Homicide Bill

Yesterday, New Hampshire’s GOP-controlled House approved a bill that allows authorities to criminally charge anyone who causes the death of a fetus. Advocates claim the legislation would protect pregnant women from attackers who wish to harm them or their fetuses, but opponents say it’s a transparent back-door attempt to outlaw abortion by redefining personhood. If the bill becomes law, New Hampshire will join 37 other states that also recognize fetuses as victims in violent crimes. The bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Kathleen Souza (R), tried unsuccessfully to reverse changes to the bill that restrict fetal homicide to fetuses more than 24 weeks, and require the perpetrator to “knowingly or purposely cause the death and also know that the woman is pregnant.”