Michigan

New law ups penalties for assaulting pregnant women

Leon Hendrix -

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) -- Michigan's lieutenant governor on Tuesday signed a new law into effect that enhances penalties for those convicted of assaulting a pregnant woman.

The new law puts assaults of pregnant women in line with domestic violence charges.

Under the new law, first-time offenders who assault pregnant women face a misdemeanor charge that could send them to prison for 93 days. Second offenses carry a maximum of a year in jail and third offenses become felonies that could send convicts to prison for five years.

The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township.

"I hope that folks realize that a woman who's pregnant is, I think, in a special circumstance," Price told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday. "She needs to be treated carefully and if that causes somebody who's possibly assaulting her to pause for a moment and say, 'no, she's pregnant,' that's good. This just puts that in higher relief for pregnant women."

Gov. Rick Snyder is out of the country, so Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed the bill into law.

"Physical violence against anyone is unacceptable, but violence against pregnant women is especially terrible and should be strongly punished regardless of the attacker's relationship to the woman," Calley said in a news release. "Updating this law shows that violence will not be tolerated in our state."

-----Online:Public Act 89 Public Act 90Public Act 91

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