TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Killing or injuring a fetus at any stage of development would be a separate crime under a bill passed by the Florida House.

The House voted 74-42 Friday to approve the bill that expands a current law that allows murder or manslaughter charges if a fetus dies after a crime committed against the mother. But that law only applies if the fetus has developed to the point where it can survive outside the womb, and it doesn't apply to injured fetuses.

Penalties for killing or injuring a fetus would be the same as would apply if the crimes were committed against a person, except that the death penalty could not be sought in a charge of first-degree murder of a fetus.

A similar bill is ready for a Senate vote.