House Approves Legislation Protecting Pregnant Women From Assault

LANSING – The House approved legislation authored by Rep. Amanda Price to charge individuals with prior assault convictions with a felony for assaulting a pregnant woman.

“Assault on a known pregnant woman has the potential to cause injuries that affect two lives forever,” said Rep. Price, R-Park Township, of House Bill 4479. “This is a matter of great importance. We need to protect both lives from this behavior.”

HB 4788, working with its partner legislation in HB 4479, will carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison for anyone with two or more assault convictions. An initial conviction remains classified as a misdemeanor with potential imprisonment up to 93 days.

Current law does not specifically list pregnant women in the categories of domestic assault and battery victims, and penalties are only included in an assault that leads to death or specific injury to the fetus.

The two bills were key portions of a bipartisan domestic violence protections package involving six House bills approved Thursday.

The bills now advance to the Senate for consideration.