Del. House approves expanded child abuse law

DOVER, Del. (AP) - June 28, 2012

The bill cleared the House on a 34-to-7 vote Thursday after winning unanimous approval in the Senate last week.

In broadening the language in existing law, the bill creates the new felony of second-degree child abuse. Second-degree abuse would include intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury to a child who is 3 years old or younger or who has significant intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Because the bill defines physical injury to a child as "any impairment of physical condition or pain," some critics fear parents could be prosecuted simply for spanking their young children, which bill supporters deny.

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