Critics argue that “fetal homicide” bills are simply covert abortion bans, despite assurances from anti-choice advocates that they are not. Similar to the mandatory ultrasound laws and “fetal pain” 20 week abortion bans sweeping states, “fetal homicide” bills were pieces of model legislation pushed by Americans United for Life, the anti-choice ALEC.
Kevin Paul, an attorney for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains argued the bill “fundamentally challenges the right to chose whether to terminate a pregnancy.” Because proponents couldn’t offer a satisfactory answer, Democrats refused to allow the measure to advance.
In addition to concerns that the bill would ban abortions, critics have also raised the concern that the bill would open the door to abortion doctors being murdered to “defend” the fetus under a justifiable homicide theory, similar to the one advanced by Scott Roeder, Dr. George Tiller’s murderer.
Given the overall move away from “fetal homicide” bills it is unclear whether anti-choice activists will try and raise the issue next legislative session.
Photo from stephendepolo via flickr.