by Steven Ertelt
March 17, 2005
Charleston, WV (LifeNews.com) — West Virginia is about to have a law protecting pregnant women and their unborn children. The state House gave final approved to a measure requiring criminals to be charged twice when they kill or injure an unborn child when attacking a pregnant mother.
Gov. Joe Manchin has already indicated he will sign the bill into law, making West Virginia the 31st state with such a law and the 19th to offer women and their babies protection throughout pregnancy.
Manchin said he "has no problem" with the bill, a departure from the veto former Governor Bob Wise used to ill the bill when the legislature passed it in 2004.
Delegates in the state House approved Senate Bill 146 by a 81-17 margin.
Opponents of the billed tried to attach an amendment to it that would have weakened the measure. They argue that recognizing the personhood of an unborn child in criminal cases would threaten legal abortion, even though that hasn’t happened in other states with similar laws.
Supporters of the bill named is "Laci’s Law" in honor of Laci Peterson, the pregnant woman who died in California. Scott Peterson was recently sentenced to the death penalty because of the murder of his wife and unborn child Conner.
The Herald Dispatch newspaper said supporters also cited the 1998 murder of Kanawha County resident Christina Renee Alberts who was eight months pregnant when she was killed.
"This bill protects those among us who have no voices," said Delegate Patrick Lane, a Republican, said during the debate. "We are saying today that it is immoral for you to kill a woman who is pregnant because there are two people there, two immoral acts."
Related web sites:
West Virginians for Life – https://www.wvforlife.org