by Steven Ertelt
February 13, 2007
Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — A Wyoming state House committee approved an unborn victims bill on Monday that would offer further protection and justice for pregnant women like Laci Peterson and their unborn children. It would charge attackers who kill both mother and baby with two crimes for both deaths instead of just one.
Senator John Barrasso, a Casper Republican, is the lead sponsor of the bill and she told the committee that pregnant women are increasingly victims of violence.
"If you kill a pregnant woman trying to have her child, if you know that she’s pregnant, you’ve actually taken two lives," Barrasso said.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says more than 1,300 pregnant women in the United States were killed from 1990 to 2004. And a study in the American Journal of Public Health published in 2005 shows homicide is the second most common cause of death for pregnant women.
Rep. Amy Edmonds, a Cheyenne Republican, also spoke in favor of the bill.
"This is a bill about a women’s right to choose. A woman who has chosen to go through her pregnancy (and is murdered) has had that choice taken away from her," she said.
The House Judiciary Committee approved SF 118 on a 6-3 vote Monday morning.
But first, pro-abortion Rep. Mary Throne attempted to modify the bill to count only the pregnant mother as a victim in attacks on them and their unborn children.
Rep. Monte Olsen, a pro-abortion legislator serving as the temporary chairman of the committee, ruled the amendment out of order. However, Olsen later told the Associated Press he was wrong to have done so and indicated he would propose the single victim amendment on the House floor.
The Senate has already approved SF 118 on a 16-12 margin and twice defeated attempts to turn the measure into a single victim bill.
Right to Life of Wyoming strongly supports this bill because there are two victims — both mother and child — in these kinds of attacks and criminals should be held accountable for killing both.
There are currently 34 states across the country that have similar laws and there are 24 that, like SF 118, protect mother and child throughout pregnancy.
These kinds of state laws have been upheld in 10 states in various state and federal courts. They have never been declared unconstitutional.