Due to Republicans failing to read the fine print in their own bill, pregnant women in New Hampshire would have been allowed to commit murder without any repercussions. But on Thursday, when they noticed their mistake, they scrambled to amend the bill.
This month, New Hampshire legislators passed Senate Bill 66. It was aimed to define unborn fetuses as a person after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Anyone who might kill a fetus would be subject to homicide or manslaughter charges.
However, the language that was used to protect women was so vague that it could be interpreted to allow them to commit murder.
In the original bill, it exempted “any act” that was committed by a pregnant woman or her doctor, even “in cases of second-degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, or causing or aiding suicide.”
According to Republican Representative JR Hoell, “The bill as drafted allows for physician-assisted suicide and allows a pregnant woman to commit homicide without consequences.”
This error was caught as it was on its way to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk.
Lawmakers used a legislative move that is meant to correct spelling and grammar on Thursday.
Currently, there are thirty-eight states that have fetal homicide laws.
New Hampshire Democrats have argued that the bill is redundant, indicating that women can receive felony charges for women who cause death to an unborn child.
The bill easily passed the legislature and the governor is expected to sign it.
If this bill is signed by the governor, these changes would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.