Florida bill calls for separate crime for harming unborn

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House has passed a bill that would make the death of an unborn child a separate crime from any offense committed against the mother.

Under the bill, crimes against the unborn would apply even if the perpetrator was unaware the woman was pregnant. The measure (HB 759) passed on a 74-43 vote Thursday.

A companion Senate bill has cleared a couple of committees.

The bill would apply to fetuses at any point in gestational development but wouldn't apply to abortion providers.

Supporters say perpetrators who harm a woman should be held accountable for harming her unborn child.

Opponents say it elevates the status of a fertilized egg to that of an adult and would lead to a spike in pregnancy tests to determine if attacked women are pregnant.

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