Massachusetts Bill Regarding Fetal Homicide Penalties (H 861)
This law was last updated on Apr 18, 2019
H 861 would make it a criminal offense to cause bodily injury or death to a “child in utero.” A child in utero is defined as “a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”
If a person engages in conduct that results in the death of, or bodily injury to, a child in utero, their punishment would be the same as the punishment provided under law for that conduct had the injury or death occurred to the unborn child’s mother.
H 861 would not require proof that the person had knowledge of the woman’s pregnancy. This law would not apply to conduct relating to an abortion or medical procedure.