House Votes for Embryo Protection

The state House of Representatives approved a bill allowing homicide and assault prosecutions for the death of embryos in the earliest stages of development, in a vote tinged by the decades-long fight over abortion, reports the Tennessean.
House lawmakers voted 80-18 for a measure that would extend criminal punishments for killing a fetus to the first eight weeks of pregnancy.
Supporters said the bill would clarify a law passed last year that made it easier to prosecute people for harming fetuses. Opponents said charges of harming an embryo will be difficult to prove because many pregnancies end naturally at that stage.
They suggested the measure really is meant to set up future battles over abortion. Tennessee law has long allowed prosecutors to bring two charges when a person kills or assaults a pregnant woman. A charge of harming a fetus can be brought only as a second charge to harming the pregnant woman as well.

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