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.