Wyoming Lawmakers Vote Down Drug-Induced Infant Endangerment Bill
A bill that would have created the crimes of drug-induced infant homicide and drug-induced infant abuse and provided enhanced penalties in cases where a person delivers drugs to a pregnant woman was shot down in committee Tuesday.
House Bill 215 failed by a vote of 14-45, with one lawmaker excused.
The measure was previously recommended out of the House Judiciary Committee by a 6-3 vote and placed on general file Monday.
Lawmakers say arguments against the proposal stemmed from two statements in the bill regarding a woman knowing she is pregnant.
Opponents also argued that a person delivering drugs to a pregnant woman may not know she is pregnant if she wears baggy clothing.
The proposal reads in part:
(c) A person is guilty of drug induced infant homicide if:
(iii) The infant dies after the live birth and the person's injection, inhalation, ingestion or administration of the substance specified in paragraph (i) of this subsection was a contributing factor in the infant's death.
Some lawmakers also argued that the word "contributing" should have been replaced with harsher language.
The bill would have created the penalties of drug-induced infant homicide and drug-induced infant abuse for women who use drugs while pregnant.
Drug-induced infant homicide would have been punishable by up to 10 years in prison, while drug-induced infant abuse would have carried a maximum five years in prison.
Delivery of drugs to a pregnant woman would have been punishable by 10-25 years in prison.
But if the pregnancy were to be terminated in whole or in part due to drug use, regardless of whether the human embryo or fetus survived, a person who delivered drugs to the pregnant woman could have faced 20-50 years in prison.