IN becoming battleground for fetal murder debate

Posted by Amanda Lents

Indiana could become a battleground state for the debate on killing fetuses.

A bank robber shot a pregnant Indianapolis bank teller during a robbery on April 22nd, and she lost her twin fetuses.

The alleged gunman, Brian Kendrick, faces four to 16 years in prison if convicted on two counts of killing a fetus, a penalty that Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and some state lawmakers say isn't enough.

In Indiana, the law allows prosecutors to file murder charges in the death of a fetus, but only if the mom's at least seven months pregnant.

Teller Katherin Shuffield was five months pregnant.

Republican State Senator Jim Merritt of Indianapolis plans to sponsor a bill that would amend the law to cover a fetus at any stage of development.

Conservative groups say such legislation is needed.

But abortion rights activists say fetal homicide laws can become a backdoor way to determine that life legally begins at conception