Fetal Homicide, Parental Rights Bills Take Effect

CONCORD, NH (AP) – A new law allowing murder charges to be brought against those who cause the death of a fetus is among those that have taken effect in New Hampshire. Nearly 40 other states already have fetal homicide laws.

New Hampshire’s version would allow fetuses that have reached 20 weeks after conception to be considered victims of murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide or assisted suicide.

Another bill that took effect yesterday deals with the termination of parental rights in cases of sexual assault. The new law presumes that termination of the biological father’s rights is in the best interest of the child when a birth is the result of a sexual assault.

A third new law gives grandparents preference as guardians in cases of parental drug abuse.