by Steven Ertelt
February 21, 2006
Montgomery, AL (LifeNews.com) — The Alabama District Attorneys Association announced on Tuesday that it will support a pro-life version of legislation that seeks to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from acts of violence.
The group switched its allegiance from a competing measure that only protect unborn children after 19 weeks of pregnancy to one that protects them throughout pregnancy.
Both pieces of legislation are an attempt to charge criminals with a second crime when they kill or injure an unborn children in an assault against a pregnant woman. Pro-life groups back the bill covering all babies before birth.
The move came after Alabama Attorney General Troy King assured the group that the pro-life version was constitutional. In fact, similar laws in other states have never been declared unconstitutional in any legal challenges to them filed by abortion advocates.
Meanwhile, state Sen. Lowell Barron also said she would support the legislation in the Senate. He, too, had been backing the weaker 19 week proposal.
The pro-life version passed the state House earlier this month, but is being held up in the Senate Judiciary Committee by Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham). Last year, Smitherman prevented a similar bill from coming to a vote in the Senate after it was unanimously approved by the House.
Last week, Roger and Pam Parker traveled to Alabama’s capital to seek justice for their slain daughter and grandson.
The Parkers hope that the murder of Brandy Parker and her unborn son Brody will push legislators to approve an unborn victims bill, after such legislation has been stalled for the past two years.
Brandy Parker, 23, was shot to death last July. Though she was weeks away from giving birth, the death of her and her child was treated as a single homicide. Some 32 states provide such protection for pregnant women under unborn victims laws.
"I doubt very seriously that any of those that oppose this bill … had ever had the experience of standing over their grandson’s casket and kissing him on the cheek and telling him good-bye, knowing that the state of Alabama doesn’t even recognize that he is a child," said Roger Parker.
He finds the 19 week version of the bill unacceptable, and does not want it to bear his daughter or grandson’s name.
"I cannot support a bill that would not include all children. That would be selfish and self-serving. And I think that Brody’s name needs to be on a bill that represents all children," said Parker.
Governor Bob Riley supports the pro-life version as well.
"Passage of the House version of this legislation is vital to ensuring that all life in Alabama, including unborn life, is protected from violent crime," Riley said.