Judiciary Committee rejects Scarborough rep's fetal rights bill

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SCARBOROUGH — Republican state Rep. Amy Volk’s effort to grant legal status to fetuses at least 12 weeks old did not make it out of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee last week.

LD 1193, which would have allowed heirs and legal estates of fetuses to sue for wrongful death civil damages, was voted “ought not to pass” after May 16 committee hearings in Augusta. The bill exempted mothers and health-care practitioners performing legal abortions from wrongful death civil actions.

Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, chairwoman of the committee, expressed opposition to the bill before hearings began. Rep. Kimberly Monaghan-Derrig, D-Cape Elizabeth, is also on the Judiciary Committee.

Volk’s bill was one of three concerned with unborn children and reproductive rights rejected by the committee last week: LD 760 would have required “informed consent” by physicians to women seeking an abortion, and LD 1339 would have required stricter parental consent for minors seeking an abortion.

Rep. Heather Sirocki, R-Scarborough, cosponsored LD 760 and LD 1339, and Volk was a cosponsor of LD 760.