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House endorses plan to criminalize killing fetus

By Associated Press
Published On: Jan 23 2013 04:31:31 PM MST
MONTANA LEGISLATURE
HELENA, Mont. -

The House is backing a proposal sought by abortion foes to criminalize the killing of a fetus.
    
The measure is steeped in abortion politics even though it exempts legal procedures, like abortion, and miscarriage from prosecution.
    
The House endorsed the bill Wednesday in a 60-40 initial vote.
    
The measure adds "unborn child" to homicide offenses. Currently, homicide laws cover the death of a human being.
    
Supporters argue it is necessary to place value on the fetus if an unborn child is killed during a crime; opponents argue it is full of anti-abortion undertones and opens up a woman's medical records to inspection during criminal trials.
    
A similar measure cleared the Legislature two years ago, only to be vetoed by former Gov. Brian Schweitzer.