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NC bill would punish those who harm, kill fetuses

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BY EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina Republicans and some crime victims are promoting legislation to make it a felony for an attacker to kill or injure a fetus at any stage of development.

Rep. Dale Folwell of Forsyth County said Thursday the proposed legislation would expand to the rest of the state a law already in effect on federal property like Camp Lejeune and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The federal law was approved in 2004 after the 2002 death of a pregnant California woman, Laci Peterson.

More than two-thirds of the states have laws allowing homicide prosecution for someone who causes the death of a fetus. About half the states define a fetus starting with conception.

The bill makes clear that the provisions don't apply to legal abortions.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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