by Steven Ertelt
March 14, 2006
Columbia, SC (LifeNews.com) — An unborn victims bill in South Carolina received the support of the state Senate this month, but is also drawing attacks from abortion advocates who are making wild-eyed assertions about what the bill will and won’t do.
The South Carolina measure is not different from the law in more than 24 other states. It allows prosecutors to hold criminals accountable when they attack a pregnant women and kill or injure her unborn child.
Previously, such criminals are charged with just one crime — the assault on or murder of the mother. Such laws allow justice for victims like Laci and Conner Peterson, the mother and eight-month old unborn child killed in California in a case that drew the nation’s attention.
The South Carolina Senate signed off on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and the bill now awaits a vote in the state House.
Sen. Chip Campsen, a Republican who is the main sponsor of the legislation, told the Charleston Post and Courier newspaper the bill provide justice when it is frequently denied. He disagrees with abortion advocates who say the unborn child is not a person and there should be no second crime.
"She lost her baby. It’s a philosophical difference," he explained. "She lost a separate being that she was nurturing and wanted to give birth to."
Though the bill is expected to move easily through the state House, which has passed previous versions of the measure before, abortion advocates are increasing efforts to kill it.
Christopher Hollis, vice president for governmental and political affairs for Planned Parenthood, told the newspaper the "vesting legal rights at the point of conception is just so dangerous on so many levels."
He and other pro-abortion groups are claiming the bill could cause problems in other areas of law such as medical treatments for pregnant women, inheritance law or assigning attorneys for unborn children.
But pro-life groups point out other states with the same law have not seen those kinds of problems.
"There was nothing like that in our law whatsoever," said Holly Gatling, executive director of South Carolina Citizens for Life, responding to those and other mythical concerns.
She told the Charleston newspaper, "The opponents who are militant pro-abortionists are extremely fearful that anything that recognizes an unborn child as an individual threatens Roe v. Wade."
"The opposition’s strategy is to say there are not two victims here," Gatling concluded. "The whole objective here is to recognize the unborn child as an individual."