Investigation Continues in Texas Unborn Victims Case

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 10, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Investigation Continues in Texas Unborn Victims Case

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
November 10, 2003

Austin, TX ( — As the investigation into the murder of a 35-year-old Texas woman and her unborn child continues, pro-life groups anxiously await the application of the state’s new Prenatal Protection Act.

"When a suspect is charged and brought to trial for the two murders, this case will warn would-be assailants and murderers that Texas law now protects unborn children the same as newly born children," Joe Pojman, Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life, told

"The public will learn that Texas Prenatal Protection Act now recognizes that unborn children are babies and gives them the full protection of law in cases of assault, drunk driving, and negligence."

Local police have assigned a team of nine investigators to investigate the crime, and that "Major Case Squad" is keeping quite about the investigation – not even sharing information with officers not investigating the case.

"This secrecy allows our detectives to quickly recognize when information is relevant to the investigation," said Round Rock Police Chief Paul Conner in a statement. "If at some point we stop making progress, we may release some of this information to solicit help from the public, but we have not yet reached that point."

Christina Moore, who was 3 months pregnant, was found stabbed to death in her home on September 23. To date, police have not named any suspects or filed charges.

According to Pojman, the local district attorney is "eager" to prosecute for 2 victims of the murder.

"If the investigation determines that the unborn child died as a result of the stabbing death of Ms. Moore, this would be the first known application of the Prenatal Protection Act," said Poijman.

The pro-life Texas law, which took effect September 1, makes Texas one of 28 states that make the killing of an unborn child a homicide. Some 15 of these states, including Texas, extend the protection for the entire term of prenatal development. In 38 states, parents can sue for the wrongful death of an unborn child.

As it is the first application of the law, opponents, namely pro-abortion groups, are questioning its constitutionality. Poijman said he is confident it will not be overturned, as similar laws in other states have never been successfully challenged.

The Prenatal Protection Law, originally Senate Bill 319, authored by Sen. Ken Armbrister (D-Victoria) and Rep. Ray Allen (R-Grand Prairie), recognizes unborn children as victims of crimes of homicide and assault.

It extends the definition of personhood to include unborn children "at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth" in the Texas Penal Code, thereby establishing criminal penalties for a third party who wrongfully injures or kills an unborn child in the womb against the mother’s wishes, such as in assault, drunk driving, and negligence.