Kentucky Gov and Laci Peterson’s Mother Support Unborn Victims Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 16, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kentucky Gov and Laci Peterson’s Mother Support Unborn Victims Bill

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
January 16, 2004

Frankfort, KY ( — An unborn victims bill in Kentucky is getting much support, which pro-life advocates hope will finally allow it to become law.

House Bill 3, also known as the Caleb-Haley Act, has been endorsed by both Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher and Sharon Rocha, Laci Peterson’s mother. If passed, the bill would allow for the prosecution those who kill or injure an unborn child.

"This bill is necessary to ensure that in the future, no mother who loses her baby in a criminal attack is later told by state authorities, `We are sorry, but nobody died in that crime,’" Rocha wrote to Rep. Stan Lee (R-Lexington), the chief sponsor of the Caleb-Haley Act.

"It is necessary to prevent any surviving grandparent, such as myself, from being told, `In the eyes of the law, you lost a daughter, but not a grandson," said Rocha, whose daughter and grandson washed up dead in California last year.

In Kentucky this was the case last week, when the body of 18-year-old Ashley Renee Lyons was found shot to death in her car last week. Her family had just found out hours before her death that she was five months pregnant.

"My grandbaby was alive. I saw pictures of him," said Lyons’ mother, Carol.

State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said Ashley Renee Lyons’ killer "should be prosecuted for the deaths of two human beings, because two lives were lost," at a rally Thursday for the bill.

Also speaking at the Capitol rally was Governor Ernie Fletcher, who told the crowd, "It is time that we pass this legislation."

Charmaine Holbrook who lost her unborn child last summer in an automobile accident, spoke at the rally as well. The other driver, who tried to pass in a no-passing zone, will be tried for a single charge of assault on Holbrook.

"That man won’t spend one day — not one day in jail for killing my daughter," Holbrook said in a choked voice. "That’s unthinkable."

The Caleb-Haley act is also being supported by Kentucky Right to Life, the Catholic Conference of Kentucky and the state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, a person is a person, no matter how small," Lee told the crowd at the rally. "You can’t be just a little bit pregnant; you either are or you aren’t. And it’s either life or it isn’t."

Another unborn victims bill, HB 108, was proposed by a mostly Democrat sponsorship, but that bill only would allow for charges on "viable" unborn children, or those that are considered to be able live outside the womb. Rep. Lee called the viability standard "nebulous" in an interview with, and said the Democrat’s bill reflected the thinking of pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, 28 states have unborn victims laws, including 15 that cover mothers and their unborn children throughout pregnancy.

Related Sites:
Kentucky Right to Life –
Caleb-Haley Bill Website –
Listing of State Unborn Victim Laws –