A Logan man accused of beating his six-months pregnant girlfriend is facing criminal abortion charges, according to Tenth Judicial District Attorney Tim Rose.
Rose said the Feb. 1 attack has also driven him to take the issue to state lawmakers and appeal for stronger laws to protect women and their unborn children.
Rose said he is unsure if anyone in the state has ever been charged with criminal abortion in a domestic dispute case. He said the statute has been used since the 1950s to prevent illegal abortions in hospitals and clinics.
Rose said the statute is broad enough, however, to be used in the case, noting it applies "any time a person intends to destroy a fetus or takes steps to cause the untimely demise of a fetus."
He said the only other state law that could apply specifies the fetus must die, which didn't happen in this case.
Rose said he plans to address a committee of the state Legislature while in Santa Fe to try to push forward a form of legislation to protect pregnant women and their unborn children.
"There have to be consequences for those who hit or strike the abdomen of a pregnant woman during a domestic dispute," Rose said. "It should be a felony whether the fetus should live or die."
Rose said the fetus survived the attack by Andrew Thomas, 26, who is accused of punching and beating Jessica Aguilera with a broom handle at the home they share in Logan. Thomas is also charged with felony attempted murder and kidnapping and misdemeanor interfering with communications and criminal damage to property.
Aguilera told officers that Thomas had been drinking and was arguing with his mother on the phone when she told him "it's stupid the way you threaten your mother."
According to court records, the couple began arguing with Aguilera deciding to leave. She said Thomas took her cell phone and threw objects at the car as she attempted to flee.
Thomas opened the door of the vehicle and pulled Aguilera out by her hair, punching her as he dragged her back into the house, according to court records.
Investigators said Thomas repeatedly slapped and punched Aguilera, hitting her multiple times in the abdomen.
Aguilera told police she eventually was able to flee to her mother's home when Thomas passed out.
Aguilera was transported to Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Police said Thomas was taken into custody and when interviewed he stated he had told Aguilera he was going to kill her several times, though he could not recall most of the assault because he blacked out.
Thomas is being held in the Quay County Detention Center in lieu of $150,000 bond.