Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Domestic violence bill awaits Senate committee hearing

A measure that proponents say is a tool to reduce domestic violence toward pregnant or new mothers is awaiting a Senate committee hearing this week.

House Bill 1183, sponsored by Rep. Laura Bradford, R- Collbran, and Sen. Nancy Spence, R-Centennial, would allow a woman’s death certificate to reflect the fact that she had been pregnant if it occurred within the previous 12 months. Eighteen other states have adopted the policy in an effort to identify victims of domestic violence who were pregnant; the premise of such laws, advocates say, is to better understand the frequency and circumstances under which the acts occur.

The measure passed the House with bipartisan support and is now awaiting a hearing in the Senate State, Veteran, & Military Affairs Committee. Spence says the bill has garnered such support because it is not about women and pregnancy but is about the cause of death for certain women who suffer at the hands of their boyfriends or husbands.

“This is really a bill about domestic violence,” said Spence. “Women who are pregnant and killed by someone they are involved with is a fairly frequent occurrence. If this bill helps, then we should allow this designation on the death certificate.”

Committee Chair and President pro tem Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood, said she is not so sure that she can support the bill until she has thought through its ramifications. A woman’s privacy is not to be dismissed so readily in Boyd’s estimation—even after death.

“Whenever you‘re looking into women’s lives, privacy issues come up,” said Boyd. “Even if a woman is dead I’m worried about her privacy.”

The bill states that the medical professional determining the cause of death and listing the pregnancy must already have access to the deceased’s medical records.

Via - Colorado News Agency

No comments:

Post a Comment