Unborn Victims of Violence Act Gets Senate Vote Thursday

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 19, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Unborn Victims of Violence Act Gets Senate Vote Thursday

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 19, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The U.S. Senate will finally vote on legislation that will make sure criminals are held accountable when they kill or injure an unborn child as a result of an attack on a pregnant mother.

Though the Unborn Victims of Violence Act covers only federal crimes, it is important legislation that will protect many pregnant women and encourage other states to adopt similar laws.

The House of Representatives has passed the bill twice, while the Senate has never taken it up for consideration until now.

Pro-abortion Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) held up the pro-life bill when he ran the Senate, but with Republicans in control, the legislation is finally getting a vote.

An agreement struck between Senate Republicans and Democrats allows the bill to get a vote without a filibuster, but abortion advocates will be able to propose two amendments that pro-life groups say will essentially gut the intent of the bill.

One such amendment, sponsored by pro-abortion Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), that says there is only one victim when a pregnant woman is attacked and her unborn child dies or is injured.

Feinstein’s measure doesn’t go over well with Sharon Rocha, the mother of Laci Peterson.

"Laci knew that Conner was her son, and I know it too. Two people, Laci and Conner, would be here with us today if they had not been murdered. There were two victims in this crime, not one," Rocha says in a letter to members of Congress.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, agrees.

"Yesterday the parents or grandparents of seven victims spoke about their tragedies on Capitol Hill," Perkins said. "As a father and former
legislator, it is difficult to imagine how anyone who heard these gut-wrenching stories could deny the loss of a child in these crimes, and yet incredibly this is what many senators are willing to do as they oppose this bill."

The second "killer" amendment is a 157-page bill, sponsored by pro-abortion Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). The Murray amendment is an attempt to promote domestic violence programs by making employers spend millions on various programs that are unaffordable.

"The attempt to attach this massive bill is clearly an attempt to mire the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in issues that are entirely distinct," National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson explains.

The House of Representatives most recently passed the bill on February 26, by a 254-163 vote.

While President Bush strongly supports the pro-life legislation and will sign it into law, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry opposes it and has backed the Feinstein amendment saying unborn children are not victims.

ACTIONS: Please contact your members of the U.S. Senate and urge strong support for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and opposition to any amendments. You can reach any senator at 202-224-3121 or find specific contact information for your senators by going to https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm