Maine has become one of the few states this legislative cycle to reject passing a "fetal protection" law, a piece of anti-abortion "model" legislation that has popped up in state houses across the nation this year. The law, which is seen by many as a covert attempt to put "personhood" in place by giving fetuses special protections at the point of conception, was dismissed by politicians, who stated criminal acts that hurt or kill the fetus is already a crime prosecutable by law.
Via the Daily Journal:
Opponents said Maine already has sufficient laws to protect fetuses. Sen. Stanley Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick, said the 2005 Motherhood Protection Act requires additional sentencing for violence against pregnant women.
"There is nothing broken. There is nothing that needs to be fixed," Gerzofsky said. "When judges and prosecutors say something needs to be fixed, we'll do it."
Sen. Philip Bartlett II, D-Gorham, warned that the bill would undermine women's abortion rights under the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision.
Fetal protection laws were met with skepticism earlier this year when legislators in both South Dakota and Nebraska proposed versions that could have made abortion a crime as well, and made it legal to shoot an abortion provider in "defense" of the fetus. Those bills were pulled due to public outcry, with their authors claiming they were mistakes.