AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Lawmakers in Maine have narrowly blocked a bill that would have allowed the family of a fetus who dies before birth to sue for wrongful death.

The Sun-Journal reports that the bill was rejected in a 72 to 71 vote in the House on Friday. A mother and fetus would have a legal distinction under the bill. Mothers and health care providers performing abortions cannot be sued under the bill.

Supporters of the measure say that women who lose their unborn children should be able to sue for their loss.

Critics warn that the measure could lead to the concept of fetal personhood, which could restrict abortions. Opponents also say Maine already allows pregnant women who are harmed and suffer the loss of a fetus to sue.