The state Senate passed a bill last night to fine-tune the definition of a fetus involved in a homicide. The accused would face two charges of homicide if an embryo dies along with the mother.
The new wording updates a law passed last year to make assault or murder of a woman a dual charge if she were pregnant. The new version drops language protecting abortions. Instead it exempts legal medical or surgical procedures.
Memphis Democrat Beverly Marrero stood her ground as a long-time advocate of abortion rights.
“My concern is that what we’re doing now, is, we’re making embryos the same as a person…and there are some of us who question the wisdom of that.”
The bill’s sponsor, Mt. Juliet Republican Mae Beavers, argues that the bill is simply an extension of criminal prosecution against a person who has harmed an embryo.
The bill had already passed in the House and now goes to the governor.
The bill, SB 3412 Beavers/ HB 3517 Evans, applies to homicide cases but is expected also to be extended to assault charges.
The version passed by both the House and the Senate is spelled out in this amendment, which replaces the original text.