by Steven Ertelt
January 29, 2007
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — A Texas state appeals court has upheld a state law that protects pregnant mothers and their unborn children from acts of violence. The court validated the law that says criminals who attack a pregnant woman and kill her baby can be charged with two crimes for the death or injury to both mother and child.
The Texas Ninth Court of Appeals upheld the law in a case concerning a double capital murder conviction involving a man who killed his unborn twin sons.
Attorneys for 21 year-old Gerardo Flores claimed the law was unconstitutional because it applied throughout pregnancy in protecting mother and child.
In May 2004, then 16-year-old Erica Basoria asked Flores to step on her stomach because she didn’t want to give birth to the twins. Basoria has told authorities she had been trying to kill her unborn children for weeks before Flores attacked them.
“When I was four months pregnant, I began to show, and at that time I decided that I should have gotten an abortion,” Basoria said in an affidavit.
Authorities say Basoria and Flores had been dating more than a year when she became pregnant in January 2004. Flores told the Associated Press that Basoria had difficulties with her family and lacked support for her pregnancy.
Flores was convicted of killing the babies and received two concurrent life sentences that won’t let him be eligible for parole until 40 years from now. However, his lawyer, Ryan Deaton of Lufkin, argued the unborn victims law used to prosecute him was unconstitutional.
Angelina County Assistant District Attorney Art Bauereiss told the Lufkin Daily News he was pleased with the appeals court’s decision.
Basoria indicated that her family pressured her to have an abortion before Flores killed the babies.
“My mom, my sister and my sister-in-law all said that I should get an abortion,” Basoria said in an affidavit. “They said that I was too young to have children.”
In the affidavit, Basoria also said, "About two weeks before the miscarriage, I started hitting myself. I would do this every other day and I would use both of my fists when I did this. I would hit myself 10 or more times."
But Flores’ mother, Norma Flores, had urged the young woman to follow through with her pregnancy.
“I’m against abortion," Norma Flores told the AP. “It’s a life that wants to live."