AN ACT TO CREATE CRIMINAL OFFENSES FOR ACTS THAT CAUSE THE DEATH OR INJURY OF AN UNBORN CHILD OR ARE COMMITTED AGAINST A PREGNANT WOMAN, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE ACT SHALL BE ENTITLED "THE UNBORN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE ACT/ETHEN'S LAW." Summarized in Daily Bulletin 3/2/11, 3/23/11, 3/24/11, and 4/11/11. Enacted April 29, 2011. Effective December 1, 2011.
Summary date: May 2 2011 - View summary
Summary date: Apr 11 2011 - View summary
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to 3rd edition.
Provides that a person who commits an act inherently dangerous to human life that recklessly and wantonly reflects a disregard for human life and which causes the death of the unborn child is subject to the same sentence as if the person had been convicted of second degree murder under GS 14-17 (was, made the penalty for this offense a Class A felony). Makes clarifying changes to proposed GS 14-23.7 and proposed GS 14-23.8.
Summary date: Mar 24 2011 - View summary
House amendment makes the following changes to 2nd edition. Amends proposed GS 14-23.1 to clarify that the definition of unborn child applies only to proposed Article 6A (was, the definition is as used in the proposed Article, unless the context requires otherwise).
Summary date: Mar 23 2011 - View summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to 1st edition.
Amends proposed GS 14-23.2(a), clarifying that a person is guilty of the separate offense of murder of an unborn child if the person does any of the listed acts; makes a conforming change to clarify “separate offense” throughout proposed Article 6A. Amends proposed GS 14-23.2(a)(3), stating that a person is guilty of the separate offense of murder of an unborn child if the person causes the death of the unborn child in perpetration or attempted perpetration of murder in the first or second degree (removes requirement that offense constitute a Class A felony if a person were killed). Clarifies proposed GS 14-23.4(b) to state that the penalty for involuntary manslaughter of an unborn child is a Class F felony (corrects Class E felony classification in previous edition). Amends proposed GS 14-23.5(a), clarifying that a person is guilty of the separate offense of assault inflicting serious bodily injury on an unborn child if the person commits battery on the mother and the child is subsequently born alive and suffered serious bodily harm from the battery. Amends proposed GS 14-23.6 to make a person guilty of the separate offense of battery on an unborn child, as a lesser-included offense, if the person commits battery on a pregnant woman (removes offense of assault from proposed statute), punishable as a Class A1 misdemeanor (was, Class H felony). Amends proposed GS 14-23.7(3) to clarify that the proposed article does not apply to acts committed by a pregnant woman with respect to her own unborn child, as specified.
Provides that, with the exception of an act in which a person causes the death of an unborn child by willfully and maliciously committing an act intending to cause the death of the unborn child, an offense under the proposed article does not require proof that (1) the person engaging in the conduct had knowledge or should have had knowledge that the victim of the underlying offense was pregnant or (2) the defendant intended to cause the death of, or bodily injury to, the unborn child. Makes other linguistic and clarifying changes.
Summary date: Mar 2 2011 - View summary
Adds new Article 6A to GS Chapter 14, titled Unborn Victims, specifying crimes against an unborn child, defined as a human carried in the womb. Makes it murder to cause the death of an unborn child willfully and maliciously, through a reckless and wanton disregard for life, or while perpetrating or attempting acts defined as a Class A felony if a person is killed. Requires life imprisonment without parole as punishment. Makes it voluntary manslaughter to cause the death of an unborn child by an act that would be voluntary manslaughter if it resulted in the mother’s death, punishable as a Class D felony. Makes it involuntary manslaughter to cause the death of an unborn child by an act that would be involuntary manslaughter if it resulted in the mother’s death, punishable as a Class E felony. Makes it an assault on an unborn child punishable as a Class F felony to inflict serious bodily harm upon an unborn child who is later born alive by a battery of the child’s mother. Defines serious bodily harm. Makes it an assault on an unborn child to commit an assault, assault and battery, or affray upon a pregnant woman, punishable as a Class H felony. Exempts abortions that are lawful under GS 14-45.1, customary diagnostic or therapeutic medical acts, and acts by a pregnant woman that result in miscarriage or stillbirth, as defined.
Repeals GS 14-18.2 (injury to a pregnant woman).
States that the act will not be construed to impose criminal liability on an expectant mother who is the victim of domestic violence. Includes a severability clause.
Effective December 1, 2011, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.