NH House Leadership statement on HB 217; Defining Unborn Child for Homicides & Murders

The following statement was issued by NH House Leadership today following the vote on HB 217 (213-125) which would include "unborn child" in the definition of "another for the purpose of first and second degree murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide.  

Speaker of the House William O'Brien:  

“This law will help bring deserved justice to those families who lose a child in the instance of homicide. Additionally, it also could serve as deterrence for those wishing to do harm to a pregnant woman or her baby and we are hopeful to prevent such horrendous crimes from ever happening in New Hampshire.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt:  

"Today the New Hampshire House sent a message that anytime an expectant mother is a victim of violence in our state, two lives are in the balance, not just the mother.  We feel strongly that both victims deserve protection and justice.  This is the first step in having New Hampshire join 36 other states who also recognize the "unborn child" as a crime victim for the purposes of homicide.  Even our State Supreme Court, in a 2009  ruling,  asked the legislature to give them the tools they need to administer this justice in these cases.  We must take steps to protect the unprotected."