House endorses plan to criminalize killing fetus
Reps. Wendy Warburton, R-Chinook, and Kris Hansen, R-Havre, voted for the legislation. Rep. Clarena Brockie, D-Harlem, voted no.
HELENA (AP) — The House is backing a proposal sought by abortion foes to criminalize the killing of a fetus.
The measure is steeped in abortion politics even though it exempts legal procedures, like abortion, and miscarriage from prosecution.
The House endorsed the bill Wednesday in a 60-40 initial vote.
The measure adds "unborn child" to homicide offenses. Currently, homicide laws cover the death of a human being.
Supporters argue it is necessary to place value on the fetus if an unborn child is killed during a crime; opponents argue it is full of anti-abortion undertones and opens up a woman's medical records to inspection during criminal trials.
A similar measure cleared the Legislature two years ago, only to be vetoed by former Gov. Brian Schweitzer.