Introduced by Representatives Kennedy of Chelsea, Adams of Hartland, Allaire of Rutland City, Baker of West Rutland, Branagan of Georgia, Brennan of Colchester, Dunsmore of Georgia, Howrigan of Fairfield, Kilmartin of Newport City, Marcotte of Coventry, Otterman of Topsham, Schiavone of Shelburne, Valliere of Barre City, Winters of Swanton, Winters of Williamstown and Wright of Burlington
Subject: Crimes; crimes against unborn child
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to create the following crimes:
(1) murder of an unborn child;
(2) manslaughter of an unborn child;
(3) negligent killing of an unborn child;
(4) battery of an unborn child; and
(5) assault on an unborn child.
AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMES AGAINST AN UNBORN CHILD
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 13 V.S.A. chapter 86 is added to read:
Chapter 86. Crimes Against unborn child
§ 4050. Definitions
As used in this chapter, “unborn child” means the unborn offspring, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb of a human being.
§ 4051. MURDER OF AN UNBORN CHILD
A person who knowingly and intentionally causes the death of an unborn child shall be sentenced in the same manner as a person convicted of second degree murder.
§ 4052. Manslaughter of aN UNBORN CHILD
(a) A person who causes the death of an unborn child is guilty of manslaughter of an unborn child if the person:
(1) intends to cause the death of another in an immediate response provoked by such words or acts of another as would provoke a person of ordinary self-control under like circumstances;
(2) commits or attempts to commit a misdemeanor offense with such force or violence that the death of or great bodily harm to another is reasonably foreseeable; or
(3) intends to cause the death of an unborn child because the person is coerced by threats from someone other than his or her coconspirator which cause the person to reasonably believe that his or her act is the only means of preventing imminent death to the person or another.
(b) A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $3,000.00 or imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than 15 years, or both.
§ 4053. Negligent Killing of aN UNBORN CHILD
(a) A person who causes the death of an unborn child is guilty of negligently killing an unborn child if the person:
(1) negligently creates an unreasonable risk and consciously takes a chance of causing death or serious bodily injury to another;
(2) shoots the mother of the unborn child with a firearm or other dangerous weapon as a result of negligently believing her to be an animal;
(3) sets a spring gun, pit fall, deadfall, snare, or other like dangerous weapon or device; or
(4) negligently permits any animal known by the person to have vicious propensities or to have caused serious bodily injury in the past to run uncontrolled off the owner’s premises, or negligently fails to keep that animal properly confined.
(b) A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.
§ 4054. BATTERY OF aN UNBORN CHILD
(a) A person who inflicts bodily injury upon an unborn child, who is subsequently born alive, by intentionally or knowingly touching a pregnant woman without her consent is guilty of battery of an unborn child.
(b) A person who violates this section:
(1) shall be imprisoned for not more than 15 years nor less than one year if the violation results in bodily injury to the unborn child;
(2) shall be imprisoned for not more than 20 years nor less than one year if the violation results in serious bodily injury to the unborn child.
(c) As used in this section, “serious bodily injury” includes the birth of the child prior to 37 weeks’ gestation if the child weighs 2,500 grams or less at the time of birth, but does not include the inducement of the child’s birth when done for bona fide medical purposes.
§ 4055. Assault oN aN UNBORN CHILD
(a) A person commits assault on an unborn child if the person:
(1) commits any act with the intent to cause a pregnant woman to fear immediate bodily harm to herself or death to her unborn child; or
(2) intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily injury on an unborn child who is subsequently born alive.
(b) A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned for not more than ten years.
§ 4056. EXCEPTIONS
The provisions of this chapter do not apply to:
(1) Acts which cause the death of an unborn child if those acts were committed during a legal abortion to which the pregnant woman consented.
(2) Acts which are committed pursuant to usual and customary standards of medical practice during diagnostic testing or therapeutic treatment.
(3) Acts committed by a pregnant woman toward her own unborn child.
§ 4057. Other convictions not barred
A prosecution or conviction under this chapter shall not bar prosecution or conviction for any other crime committed by the person as part of the same conduct.
§ 4058. LEGAL JUSTIFICATION AND DEFENSE
All legal justifications and defenses under the laws of this state shall be available in prosecutions under this chapter.
Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect upon passage.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street