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For week ended February 27, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 28Feb00

Summarized by Mike Nielsen

Hatch defends measure on fetuses
Deseret News 23Feb00 N2
By Lee Davidson: Deseret News Washington correspondent

Orrin Hatch, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has come into conflict with members of the Clinton administration over an abortion bill. Hatch held a hearing on a bill that opponents say declares a fetus to have many of the same rights as a child.

The bill would stiffen penalties for assaults to a pregnant woman when the assault results in injures to the fetus. Hatch said that existing laws provide no penalty for the death or injury to an unborn child. Although the bill would not penalize cases of abortion, Eleanor D. Acheson, Assistant Attorney General, testified to the committee that if the bill reached Clinton he would veto it because it recognizes the "fetus as a separate and distinct victim of crime."

Acheson suggested that under the bill, a police officer who needed to use force in order to subdue a suspect might unknowingly cause a miscarriage, and by doing so, would face life in prison.


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