Possible John Kerry Running Mate Hedging on Protecting Pregnant Women
by Steven Ertelt
April 8, 2004
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, one of five leading possibilities to be named as pro-abortion presidential candidate John Kerry’s running mate, is hedging on whether or not to sign legislation that would protect pregnant women and their babies before birth.
The Iowa state legislature on Wednesday gave its final approval to an unborn victims bill that allows prosecutors to charge criminals with an additional crime when they attack a pregnant women and kill or injure her unborn child.
The families of victims such such crimes, like Laci Peterson and her unborn son Conner, strongly support the legislation.
But the Quad City Times reports Vilsack is not sure if he will sign the bill, despite strong bipartisan support in the state legislature. He accused state lawmakers of playing political games.
“I’m not quite sure why we’re doing this other than this is the political season and it’s time for political bills,” Vilsack said.
Vilsack claims a law is already on the books to address the situation. “I question the necessity of additional criminal penalties when criminal penalties already exist,” he said.
But the current only establishes one victim in such crimes — an offense to the victims who have lost their babies before birth and the families of women who have lost both daughter and grandchild. That’s why the new two-victim bill was needed, they say.
House Speaker Christopher Rants told the Times newspaper he can’t understand why Vilsack would accuse lawmakers of playing politics with a bill that addresses the tragic deaths of pregnant women and their children from cruel acts of violence.
"For people who feel strongly about this, I can assure you there is no game being played with that,” Rants told the Quad City paper.
House lawmakers voted 63-36 in favor of the bill, while members of the state Senate backed it on a 33-19 vote.
Vilsack is one of a handful of leading political figures pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is considering as his running mate.
ACTION: Contact Governor Vilsack with your comments about the unborn victims bill: Office of the Governor, State Capitol, Des Moines, IA 50319, (515) 281-5211 (Voice), (515) 281-6611 (FAX). To send an email, go to