BILL SUMMARY for HB12-1130
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
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02:26 PM -- House Bill 12-1130
Representative Joshi, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 12-1130 concerning offenses against an unborn child. He presented prepared amendment L.002 (Attachment D), which strikes everything below the enacting clause. According to the strike-below amendment, if a crime is committed and it is the proximate cause of death or injury to an unborn member of the species homo sapiens, the perpetrator may be charged for the death or assault of the unborn child. These charges may be brought together with any charges brought as a result of the death of or injury to the woman carrying the unborn child.
The committee discussed the effect of the strike-below amendment.
02:36 PM -- Dan May, District Attorney for the Fourth Judicial District, testified in support of the bill. Mr. May explained his understanding of the strike below amendment. He pointed out that the amendment requires the commission of an existing crime that the prosecutor can prove is the proximate cause of death or injury to an unborn member of the species homo sapiens. He responded to questions from the committee about whether the bill makes abortion a crime and whether it defines personhood.
The committee discussed a number of possible scenarios and asked Mr. May how he would charge various crimes if the bill became law.
The committee continued to discuss the practical effects of the strike-below amendment.
Mr. May commented about other states' fetal homicide laws. The committee discussed scenarios under which a pregnant woman could be charged for harm to her fetus under the bill.
03:12 PM -- Bob Enyart, representing Colorado Right to Life, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Enyart discussed federal fetal homicide law. He addressed Colorado medical malpractice law and stated his opinion that the bill is abortion-neutral. He spoke about recent Colorado cases in which unborn children were killed. He responded to questions from the committee.
03:24 PM -- Sheriff Chad Day, representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado and himself, testified in support of the bill. Sheriff Day stated the support of the county sheriffs. He then expressed his personal opinion that abortion is wrong. He responded to questions from the committee.
03:28 PM -- Kevin Paul, representing Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Paul made comments about the practical consequences of the bill and objected to any statute that would potentially lead to the prosecution of a woman who makes poor lifestyle choices while pregnant. He spoke about the rejection by Colorado voters on two occasions of defining personhood as beginning at the moment of conception. Mr. Paul responded to questions from the committee.
03:36 PM -- Mary Claire Mulligan, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Mulligan spoke about her professional background. She expressed her opinion that the language of the strike-below amendment is confusing and extremely vague. She indicated that such language would almost certainly lead to increased litigation. She spoke about constitutional concerns she has with the bill. Ms. Mulligan responded to questions from the committee.
03:48 PM -- Kenneth Scott, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Scott spoke about common sense and moral law. He responded to questions from the committee.
The committee took a brief recess.
The committee came back to order. Representative Gardner closed public testimony and announced that the vote on House Bill 12-1130 would be laid over until after House Bill 12-1283.