Bill calls for separate offenses for attacks

pregnant woman
Posted at 9:16 PM, Apr 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-08 17:21:11-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Attacks against pregnant women would result in separate charges for the death or injury to their unborn children under a bill that has cleared a Florida Senate panel.

The bill (SB 876) sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, was advanced by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on a 4-2 vote Monday.

The measure would apply to an unborn child at any stage of development. If the bill becomes law, the death or injury of an unborn child would be recognized as a separate offense from any crime committed against the expectant mother.

Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, said he has problems with the bill because someone could face additional criminal charges without knowing a woman was pregnant.

Stargel responded that the perpetrator in such instances should not have attacked the woman.