This week’s news includes the story of three women and one child in Cleveland, Ohio, liberated from years of captivity and abuse at the hands of a kidnapper. Among the charges likely to be filed against the kidnapping suspect, Ariel Castro, is “aggravated murder.” He allegedly raped the women, and one has told police that when she became pregnant, he beat and starved her until she miscarried. Unlawfully terminating a woman’s pregnancy against her will, “with prior calculation and design,” is aggravated murder in Ohio.
What would New Hampshire call that act? Assault on the mother, certainly, but prosecutors would have no tools for filing charges for the death of the preborn child. Eleven months ago, the House failed to override John Lynch’s veto of a fetal homicide bill.
In view of the news from Ohio, New Hampshire legislators ought to lay the groundwork for another try at fetal homicide legislation.