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House Bill 381 — Preborn children

House Bill 381 — Preborn children

Parrish Miller
January 10, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 381 would amend numerous sections of Idaho code to replace the term "fetus" with the term "preborn child".

Rating: +1

Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion, or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?

House Bill 381 would amend more than 20 sections of Idaho code to replace more than 60 references to a "fetus" and "stillborn fetus" with the terms "preborn child" and "stillborn child." 

No other changes would be made by the bill and the statement of purpose (SOP) provided by its authors suggests that there would be "no fiscal impact to the general fund or local governments."

The purpose of the bill is therefore likely to be more symbolic than substantive, but within that symbolism, we can find an important recognition of fact — the inalienable rights of mankind are not suspended until birth. This fact is recognized throughout Idaho code, including some of the sections this bill would amend, such as those that define murder and manslaughter of the unborn. 

Replacing a technical and impersonal medical term with one that recognizes the inherent humanity — and accompanying natural rights — of the unborn is an important step toward more fully protecting the rights of all people, no matter their stage of development. 


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