New Bill Could Change the Way Crimes Involving Pregnant Women are Charged

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. If passed, someone who commits battery, aggravated battery, murder, or manslaughter on a pregnant woman could be charged with an additional crime for killing the fetus.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Lynn Hutchings says current laws aren't enough to protect pregnant women and their unborn child.

“We have enhanced penalties but this bill will go further and deeper and criminalize an act against an unborn.” Said Senator Hutchings.

However, the bill's opponents say current laws od the job.

“All of those statutes protect women that are pregnant and may be injured. We also obviously have battered women statutes that are very strong, in the State of Wyoming, and we did this a long time ago for women.” Said, Senator Linda Burt.

Burt says she is concerned the bill will lead to a slippery slope to criminalize abortions.

Hutchings says the bill has nothing to do with abortions, pointing to the exception in the bill which says the law would not apply to the woman herself.