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DENVER (AP) - Crimes against pregnant woman would be punished with a new statute that Colorado Democrats are proposing.

The debate over punishment for killing a pregnant woman's child has sparked fervent discussion from both sides of the abortion debate.

Lawmakers say they're trying to avoid a fight over abortion, and focus on creating a new law to properly punish crimes against pregnant women.

A bill up for a vote in the House Judiciary committee Tuesday would create new felony charges for unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

The bill also creates an offense for vehicular unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

Republicans have tried passing bills to create such punishments, but Democrats have argued their proposals create a route to ban or restrict abortions.