House Bill 13-1154 creates a number of new offenses dealing with the unlawful termination of pregnancy. The bill seeks to heighten the penalties for offenses in which a pregnant woman or her unborn child are victims, and specifically excludes the mother herself from any prosecution from either an act or failure to act in reference to her pregnancy.
Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy in the First Degree
This offense is a Class 3 Felony, or a Class 2 Felony if the mother dies as a result of the unlawful termination of a pregnancy. A person commits this offense if they, with intent to terminate the pregnancy of a woman, do in fact unlawfully terminate that woman’s pregnancy. For example, a person would commit this offense if they assaulted a woman with the intention of her pregnancy being terminated, and her pregnancy was in fact terminated as a result.
Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy in the Second Degree
This offense is a Class 4 Felony. A person commits this offense if they knowingly, as opposed to intentionally, cause the unlawful termination of the pregnancy of a woman. Should the act be committed due to a heat of passion caused by the provocation of the victim, the act constitutes a Class 5 Felony.
Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy in the Third Degree
This offense is a Class 5 Felony. A person commits this offense if they, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to life, knowingly engage in conduct that poses a serious risk of death to another, and in doing so cause the unlawful termination of the pregnancy of a woman.
Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy in the Fourth Degree
This offense is a Class 6 Felony. A person commits this offense if they recklessly cause the termination of pregnancy of a woman when they knew or should have known that woman to be pregnant.
Vehicular Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy
This offense is a Class 5 Felony. A person commits this offense if they drive a vehicle recklessly, and this conduct is the proximate cause of the unlawful termination of the pregnancy of a woman. Proximate cause primarily is a question of foreseeability.
Aggravated Vehicular Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy
This offense is essentially a DUI or DUID where a person’s driving is the proximate cause of the termination of the pregnancy of a woman. This offense is a strict liability crime, meaning there is no specific intent requirement (such as requiring that the defendant knew or should have known his conduct would cause a particular result). It is not a defense that the defendant was lawfully prescribed the drug he was under the influence of while driving. This offense is a Class 4 Felony.
Certain presumptions do apply to any blood or breath test taken within a “reasonable time” of driving. Should the BAC be between 0.05 and 0.08, that BAC can be used in conjunction with other evidence to establish whether the defendant was under the influence of alcohol. Should the BAC be 0.08 or more, a presumption of intoxication will apply. Should the individual refuse testing, the law enforcement officer can nonetheless require that testing be performed. Any refusal would be admissible into evidence at trial.
Careless Driving Resulting in Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy
Any person who drives a motor vehicle, scooter, or electric bicycle in a careless manner and causes the unlawful termination of a pregnancy commits this offense, which is a Class 1 Misdemeanor Traffic Offense.
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