The House voted 77-40 Tuesday with several Democrats joining Republicans to approve HB 215, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
Under current state law, the death of the fetus or unborn child is not recognized as a separate crime when a violent crime is committed against the mother. This legislation would put North Carolina in line with several other states, finding anyone guilty of committing murder, manslaughter or assault against the pregnant woman also guilty of the same crime against the fetus. The assailant need not know whether the mother is pregnant or not when committing the crime.
If this legislation is approved, North Carolina will join 35 other states and the federal government in recognizing unborn victims at any state of development. The bill would not apply to legal abortions.
The legislation, also known as Ethen’s Law, now goes to the Governor for her signature or veto.