On Thursday, New Hampshire Republican legislators were in a panic after passing a bill without reading the fine print — a bill that may have allowed pregnant women to commit murder without any consequence from the law.
The bill was meant to protect from “fetal homicide” by defining a fetus as a person after just 20 weeks, making it so anyone who caused the death of said fetus would be able to be convicted for manslaughter charges.
Democrats opposed the bill, arguing that it violated Roe v. Wade by giving a fetus rights while inside a woman’s body, as Buzzfeed notes. They asked for a hearing on the issue, but (surprise, surprise) the bill was sent to the Governor for a signature anyhow, the Associated Press reported.
Republicans added a few exemptions to the bill in an attempt to assuage fears, and that’s where everything went off the rails. Senate Bill 66 was written in a way to include exceptions for pregnant women who may want an abortion, but AFTER passing both chambers of Congress, people began to notice that the language was so vague that it could be interpreted to allow pregnant women to commit murder and other crimes without repercussions, the Huffington Post reported.
— Paige Sutherland (@psutherland458) June 22, 2017
The bill read that “any act committed by the pregnant woman: Any act committed at the request or direction of the pregnant woman or for the benefit of the pregnant woman” wouldn’t apply “in cases of second-degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, or causing or aiding suicide.”
Legislators used a solution meant to fix minor grammatical errors to close the gaping loophole, and the edited text passed both houses.
“The bill as drafted allows for physician-assisted suicide and allows a pregnant woman to commit homicide without consequences,” Rep. J.R. Hoell told the Concord Monitor. “Although that was never the intent, that is the clear reading of the language.”
I… I just…