Colorado fetal homicide law at issue in killings

FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) – Accusations that a man killed his pregnant wife and two young daughters is prompting questions about Colorado’s lack of a law allowing homicide charges in the violent deaths of fetuses.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado is among 12 states without such a law.

Prosecutors are expected to charge Chris Watts on Monday. Watts was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of three counts of murder.

Violent crimes have prompted debate before in Colorado, including in 2015 after a woman cut open a pregnant woman’s belly and removed her unborn baby.

Proposals to change the law have been stymied by debate about when a fetus can legally be considered a human being.

Colorado does allow a homicide charge if a fetus was alive outside the mother’s body and then killed.