Colorado Senate Committee Tables “Fetal Homicide” Bill

Was the Colorado “fetal homicide” bill really just a backdoor abortion ban?  It was a question no one seemed able to answer, even after much discussion, causing the Senate Judiciary committee to table the proposal.

Via the Republic:

Kevin Paul, an attorney representing Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said the fetal homicide law “fundamentally challenges the right to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy.”

Abortion opponents disagreed, saying the law would be carefully tailored to protect abortion rights.

“We feel like this bill is abortion-neutral,” said Leslie Hanks of Colorado Right to Life.

Senators couldn’t decide the question, either. The Republican sponsor of the measure, Sen. Shawn Mitchell of Broomfield, requested the bill be tabled for further discussions with Democrats who raised questions. Democratic Sen. Morgan Carroll of Aurora said she wanted to study other state laws on fetal homicide more closely.

Fetal homicide bills were popular pieces of model legislation and made the rounds in 2010 and 2011 but then lost popularity due to multiple concerns that if passed, they could inadvertently open up the possibility that doctors who performed abortions could be justifiably murdered to “defend” the fetus.  Activists have largely moved their focus to new model bills, such as “fetal pain” and mandatory ultrasound proposals.

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