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Massachusetts Bill Regarding Fetal Homicide Penalties (H 861)

This law was last updated on Apr 18, 2019

This law is Anti–Choice




H 861


Failed to Pass


Jan 23, 2017


Co-sponsors: 16
Primary Sponsors: 1
Total Sponsors: 17


Fetal Homicide

Full Bill Text

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.


Similar to H 1392 (2015) and H 1404 (2013), both of which failed to pass.