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Colorado domestic violence bill gains support from the House

A new bill that aims to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence has recently been passed by the House. House Bill 1183, sponsored by two Republican congresswomen, would allow for a woman's death certificate to state if she was pregnant within a year from the time of her death in domestic violence cases.

Those who support the bill say it would be a way to keep track of the number of domestic violence victims who are abused while pregnant. They say it is also a way to gain a better understanding of the circumstances under which this type of violence occurs. They also suggest the bill could be a tool to help reduce the number of domestic violence cases.

The bill now awaits a hearing in the Senate State, Veteran, & Military Affairs Committee, where some are skeptical. The Committee chair says she is unsure what the consequences of this bill will be for women who were victims of domestic abuse. She says that giving up a woman's privacy is a serious issue, even if the woman is deceased. She says she will not vote for the bill until she fully understands what the effects will be.

The bill says that the medical professional who determines the cause of death and if the woman had been pregnant in the previous year must have already had access to the woman's medical records. Eighteen other states in the country have a similar policy already in place. It will be interesting to see if the bill is passed in Colorado.

Source: Ag Journal Online: "Bill targeting domestic violence would tag death certificates," Debi Brazzale, 17 March 2011

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