by Steven Ertelt
February 23, 2005
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Legislation that received a hearing in the Kansas state legislature this week would protect pregnant women and their unborn children by allowing prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when a pregnant woman is assaulted and her baby is killed or injured.
As such laws have in so many states, the hearing turned into a debate over abortion with abortion advocates casting the measure, similar to laws in dozens of other states and a new federal statute, as one that will be used make abortion illegal.
Rep. Steve Brunk, a Wichita Republican and the bill’s sponsor, said the bill had nothing to do with abortion and was sparked by the deaths of Laci and Conner Peterson, which received national attention.
Jeanne Gawdun of Kansans for Life, said her group supports the measure because it acknowledges that, when a pregnant woman is attacked, there are two victims.
"When there are two victims of a crime in Kansas, prosecutors should be able to obtain justice for both victims, not just one," Gawdun said.
“The unborn is not an appendage to the mother,” Gawdun said, according to a Kansas City Star report. “The child in the womb is a member of the human family with great significance not only to the mother, but also to the father, siblings, grandparents and the community.”
Sarah London of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri said her group opposed the bill because it threatens legal abortion by "elevating the legal status of the fetus to that of an adult human being and indeed superior to the woman in some ways."
Laci Peterson’s stepfather traveled to Oregon Monday to testify in favor of similar legislation that would make it two crimes to attack a pregnant woman and kill or injure her unborn child.
"When somebody takes that grandchild, son or daughter away from you, that’s murder."
"You’ve gotta have justice for both, not just for one," Grantski said.
Grantski said he backs abortion and that the bill has nothing to do with abortion, including having language in the bill ensuring that abortions will not be prosecuted under the law.
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org