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February 23, 2004

UPDATE! Unborn Victims passed 254-163.

Urge Your Representative to vote 'YES' on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act

On Thursday, February 26, the House of Representatives will vote on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (H.R. 1997), also known as "Laci and Connor's Law," which would punish criminals who hurt or kill an unborn child during the commission of a federal crime against a pregnant woman. In 1999, the House passed the bill 254 to 172, but it was never brought up for a vote in the Senate.

Why Should Congress Pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act? 
We've all heard the tragic story of the murder of Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Connor. Today, her husband, Scott Peterson, stands trial accused of double homicide, under California law, which recognizes the murder of an unborn child as that of a born human being. Unfortunately, not every state has such a law. Laci's family has supported the Unborn Victims bill as a way to recognize the grief they feel for losing two family members, not just one. They write: "Knowing that perpetrators who murder pregnant women will pay the price not only for the loss of the mother, but the baby as well, will help bring justice for these victims and hopefully act as a deterrent to those considering heinous acts."

A study published in the March 21, 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that homicide was the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in Maryland from 1993 to 1998. Twenty-seven states have already passed unborn victim laws, and the courts have upheld these laws. Under current federal statutes, unborn children are not recognized as victims of crime.

H.R. 1997 would hold criminals accountable for crimes committed against every "member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." The bill does not cover abortion or acts committed by a woman on her own unborn child. The bill would not create any new federal crimes but rather recognizes that unborn children may be victims of violent crimes already covered by 68 existing federal laws.

Tell your Member of Congress to vote 'YES' on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Reaching the Members on the target list is especially important: 
Bishop, Bradley, Brad Carson, Capito, Castle, Crowley, Artur Davis, Tom Davis, Dingell, Dunn, Emanuel, Gerlach, Gibbons, Gilchrest, Gordon, Granger, Grijalva, Hill, Hobson, Kase, Kaptur, Kind, Kirk, Kleczka, Leach, Majette, Marshall, Meek, McInnis, McNulty, Michaud, Brad Miller, Obey, Paul, Pomeroy, Pryce, Ramstad, Ross, Ruppersberger, Linda Sanchez, Scott, Simmons, Spratt, Sweeney, Tanner, Bill Thomas, Jim Turner, Upton, Van Hollen

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