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Colorado law connects pregnancy to suspicion of domestic violence

Certain types of criminal investigations seem to turn into witch hunts more than others. False allegations are made, significantly damaging the lives of the accused. Domestic violence cases are definitely the kind of cases that can take a suspect down before either innocence or guilt is proved.

Is it possible that a new proposed Colorado law could lead to even more lives ruined by hasty accusations of domestic violence? Simply put, House Bill 1183 requests that if a deceased woman was pregnant at the time of her death or within 12 months of her passing, her death certificate must note that point.

The lawmakers who support the bill note how, according to studies, pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of domestic violence against the expecting mother. Therefore, the 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 could be probable.

One can see how lawmakers' reasoning makes some sense; however, it's hard not to worry about the many husbands and boyfriends who, while mourning the loss of their partners, will be faced with false accusations of violence and murder.

A Denver source reports that the Colorado House approved the bill, with one exception to the law as it was written. Only the women who are pregnant at their times of death will have their pregnancies listed on the death certificates. It's now in the hands of Governor Hickenlooper to either approve or reject the legislative proposal.

What do you think of this proposed legislation? Please, feel free to share your comments.


CBS 5: "CO lawmakers back listing pregnancy on death certs," Associated Press, 23 Mar. 2011

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