Panel rejects bill to protect unborn child

Rep. Laura Bradford’s measure to offer protections for unborn children was rejected by a House panel Thursday.

The Collbran Republican had hoped to persuade the House Judiciary Committee to approve her measure to allow prosecutors to file murder charges against those who attack pregnant women with the intent of killing their children.

But six of the 11 committee members said they thought the idea was too close to defining a person before birth, and the state already has a statute outlawing killing an unborn child.

Bradford, however, said that law doesn’t go far enough.

“(We) believe that we have met the objections to this bill head on,” she told the committee. “I would hope ... we would protect and preserve a mother’s choice to keep a baby that she is carrying.”

Of the seven Democrats on the panel, her changes to the bill to keep it limited only to an unborn child 16 weeks or older only won her one vote, Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo. The four Republicans on the panel voted for it.

Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Denver and a lawmaker Bradford said she hoped would come her way, said he couldn’t get past the law already on the books.

“I agree that it is a heinous act to perpetrate an act of violence against a fetus with the intent of causing the death, and I agree that it should be taken seriously,” he said. “I just happen to agree that Colorado has taken a stand against such acts, has criminalized such acts. It seems to me that this bill seeks to do what has already been done in the Colorado statutes.”

Bradford said she wasn’t surprised at the outcome of the bill, and she likely would introduce it again next year.


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