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Colorado enacts law related to pregnancy and domestic violence

In March, we shared a post discussing a proposed Colorado legislation related to domestic violence. Lawmakers in the state are trying to create laws that make it easier to solve homicides of women and that could prevent domestic abuse.

As we noted in the previous post about this legislative effort, officials believe that pregnancy ups a woman's change of being a victim of domestic violence. They think that tracking whether a killed woman was pregnant will help solidify that theory and, therefore, lead to better domestic violence prevention.

The Associated Press reports that the legislation was officially put into effect this week, making the law no longer just an idea but a reality. What does the new legislation require exactly? Simply, if a deceased woman was pregnant at the time of her death, her death certificate must note that point. The coroner is responsible for reporting a pregnancy.

Advocates for the new law believe that if a woman dies during or close to her pregnancy, the likelihood that it was a domestic violence situation is high. Its supporters indicate that they will use the information to more effectively train professionals to spot dangerous domestic situations before they turn fatal.

Reports do not discuss, however, what will happen to husbands or partners once the coroner notes the pregnancy of a deceased victim. Will they all of the sudden become deadly criminals in the minds of authorities, even friends and family?

There is no doubt that domestic violence, or even worse, murder allegations, significantly affect a person's life. The system and the public don't need any more reasons to hastily assign blame to people in these cases. Hopefully, this new law will not lead to dangerous, insensitive and false allegations of violence.

Source

The Associated Press: "More than 100 Colo. laws taking effect; judicial discretion and I-70 traffic plan among them," Aug. 8, 2011

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