2021 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representatives Boyd, Williamson
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-3-37, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE EQUAL PROTECTION TO AN "UNBORN CHILD" WHEN DEATH OR INJURY OCCURS AS A RESULT OF CERTAIN CRIMES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-3-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-3-37. (1) For purposes of the offenses enumerated in this subsection (1), the term "human being" includes an unborn child at every stage of gestation from conception until live birth and the term "unborn child" means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb:
(a) Section 97-3-7, simple and aggravated assault and domestic violence;
(b) Section 97-3-15, justifiable homicide;
(c) Section 97-3-17, excusable homicide;
(d) Section 97-3-19, murder, capital murder;
(e) Section 97-3-27, homicide while committing a felony;
(f) Section 97-3-29, homicide while committing a misdemeanor;
(g) Section 97-3-33, killing a trespasser unnecessarily;
(h) Section 97-3-35, killing without malice in the heat of passion;
(i) Section 97-3-45, homicide by means of a dangerous animal;
(j) Section 97-3-47, all other homicides;
(k) Section 97-3-61, poisoning with intent to kill or injure.
(2) A person who intentionally injures a pregnant woman is guilty of a crime as follows:
(a) If the conduct results in a miscarriage or stillbirth by that individual, a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years or a fine of not more than Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($7,500.00), or both.
(b) If the conduct results in serious physical injury to the embryo or fetus, a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years or a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both.
(c) If the conduct results in minor physical injury to the embryo or fetus, a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or both.
(3) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any legal medical procedure performed by a licensed physician or other licensed medical professional, including legal abortions, when done at the request of a mother of an unborn child or the mother's legal guardian, or to the lawful dispensing or administration of lawfully prescribed medication.
(4) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit prosecution of an offender pursuant to the provisions of any other applicable statute. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to create liability against the mother of the unborn child for causing the death or injury of the unborn child unless the mother has committed a crime that caused the death of the unborn child.
(5) When the injury or death of an unborn child is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representative of the unborn child may maintain an action against the person who caused the injury or death. The action shall be commenced within two (2) years from the date of the injury or death. The recoverable damages in such actions may include: (a) medical or burial expenses, which shall be distributed to the person bringing the cause of action, (b) loss of consortium and grief of the surviving parent, (c) mental pain and anguish of the surviving parent or children, (d) any pecuniary loss, (e) legal fees, (e) punitive damages and (f) any other damages deemed appropriate by the court.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.