Protecting Pregnant Women

(Feb. 19) – A bill that creates criminal offenses in circumstances where a woman’s pregnancy is abruptly ended by the intentional or reckless criminal behavior of another passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 10 to one.

HB13-1154, sponsored by Reps. Mike Foote (D-Lafayette) and Claire Levy (D-Boulder), provides a comprehensive set of freestanding offenses that may be charged in addition to, or in place of, other offenses whenever criminal conduct, with or without knowing of the pregnancy, causes the termination of a woman’s pregnancy.

“This provides new protections for a pregnant woman who is victim of a crime that tragically ends her pregnancy,” Rep. Levy said.

Earlier this session and in previous years, legislation was introduced that masqueraded as protections for pregnant women but was in fact back door “personhood,” which Colorado voters have twice overwhelmingly voted down at the ballot.

“For me, as a prosecutor, this was a glaring gap in our criminal code,” Rep. Foote said. “This bill will allow prosecutors an additional tool to hold criminals accountable when they cause the loss of a pregnancy while not infringing on a woman’s reproductive rights.”

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