- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Lawmakers will debate fetal homicide laws, restrictions on synthetic drugs, buffer zones around facilities that provide abortions and more in this week’s upcoming legislative sessions.

When the House meets Wednesday, the Republican majority is likely to amend a Senate version of fetal homicide legislation to match one it passed earlier in the year. The bill would allow for criminal charges to be brought in the death of fetuses beyond eight weeks of gestation. It specifically says criminal charges cannot be brought against a woman or a doctor in cases of abortion. Advocates for the bill say it’s necessary for women who lose their pregnancies as a result of criminal acts such as assault or car accidents.

A Senate-passed version of the bill would have only allowed for charges to be brought if the fetus is past the point of “viability.” The two chambers will likely have to negotiate on the bill to work out the different versions.

House members will also take up a bill aimed at restricting the sale of synthetic drugs, such as spice or synthetic fentanyl, which has become a leading cause of drug deaths in the state. The bill also intends to improve the public awareness campaign around the dangers of synthetic drugs.

In the Senate on Thursday, lawmakers will debate whether to repeal the law that establishes a buffer zone around facilities that provide abortions. The law was passed last year but has never been enforced due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a similar law.

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