by Steven Ertelt
August 2, 2005
Salem, OR (LifeNews.com) — A problematic Oregon bill that opponents say fails to offer real protection to pregnant women and their unborn children is headed back to the state House. The state Senate approved it and added language requiring the death penalty for criminals who kill pregnant women.
The Oregon Senate approved a bill meant to protect pregnant women. However, the measure fails to add a second charge for cases resulting in injury or death to the unborn child.
"This bill is silent to the second life," said Sen. Roger Beyer, a Republican. "There is no justice for the second person."
The bill also requires that criminals know a victimized woman is pregnant before the additional charges can apply. Opponents of the measure say that will make it difficult for prosecutors to punish criminals under the bill because proving the criminal knew the woman was pregnant at the time of the attack could be difficult.
The Senate approved the measure 19-11 despite adding a clause that adds the death penalty for criminals who are convicted under the proposed statute. It caused some lawmakers to have second thoughts.
"The death penalty has no place in the criminal-justice system," said Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland. "The government is not perfect."
Pro-life groups support a two victim bill and are pointing to the murder of Kerry Michele Repp as a reason to pass it. Repp was 29 year-old and three months pregnant when she was shot and killed last May. Her unborn child also died.
However, the legislation, approved by the state House, is not planned for a vote in the Senate because Senate leaders claim the bill would prevent legal abortions. That hasn’t happened in other states with similar laws.
Related web sites:
Oregon Right to Life – https://www.ortl.org