Feticide; penalty. (HB1631)

Introduced By

Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Killing a fetus; penalty. Provides that any person who unlawfully, willfully, deliberately, maliciously and with premeditation kills a fetus is guilty of a Class 2 felony, and that any person who commits such an act without premeditation is guilty of a felony punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than 40 years. Currently the act of unlawfully killing a fetus as described in this statute is a crime only if the fetus is the fetus "of another." Amends § 18.2-32.2, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


10/30/2006Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/07 067100366
10/30/2006Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
11/02/2006Fiscal impact statement from VCSC (HB1631)
11/02/2006Impact statement from VCSC (HB1631)
01/11/2007Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law


fdr writes:

Anyone know, is the state's definition of "fetus" the same as the scientific definition (i.e., an 8-week-old embryo)?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

It is my understanding that the state defines fetus simply as an unborn child, from conception (not fertilization) onward. I'm afraid I can't find a source on that at the moment.

Maura writes:

As I recall from the fetal death reporting bill two years ago, a fetus is described in Virginia code as "any product of conception regardless of gestational age".

Obviously, this is HUGELY problematic.

So my understanding is that this bill simply amends the existing feticide law to ensure that a woman who is pregnant can also be charged for the death of a fetus in her own body, correct?

Scott writes:

I believe the purpose of most of these bills is to try to establish constitutional rights for fetuses as if they had been born - from the time of conception on. The only way to trump the mother's right to make decisions about her own body is to endow the fetus with full rights.