by Steven Ertelt
February 23, 2007
Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — The Wyoming state House approved legislation Friday that would offer protection and justice to pregnant women and their unborn children who are victims of deadly crimes. The 35-24 vote came despite opposition from pro-abortion groups and legislators who don’t want to acknowledge the baby’s death.
The measure, SF 118 allows local prosecutors to charge a criminal who attacks a pregnant woman with a second crime for the death of her unborn child.
It targets criminals who attack a pregnant woman like Laci Peterson and kill their baby before birth.
"We applaud the House for recognizing that when a pregnant mom is attacked, and her baby is killed in the process, there are two victims," Right to Life of Wyoming president Steven Ertelt said in response. "This is a common sense bill that offers both protection and justice to Wyoming women and children."
Before voting for the bill, the House defeated an amendment 36-23 from Rep. Jane Warren, a Democrat.
It would have changed the crime of killing the baby from a homicide to a felony, which would put the unborn child’s death on par with killing an animal in some circumstances.
Rep. Bob Brechtel, a Casper Republican, said that was "patently offensive" to women and children to treat the death of the baby on the same level as that of an animal.
The bill now heads to the Senate to concur with amendments the House added to the legislation. Once the Senate approves the amended bill, it will then head to Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal, who has not yet taken a position on it.
The Senate previously voted for the bill on a 16-12 margin and is expected to sign off on the House amendments.
Ertelt said he was disheartened that pro-abortion groups like Wyoming NARAL strongly opposed the bill and glad that a weakening amendment was rejected.
"Because NARAL is more worried about protecting abortion rights than women, they opposed a pro-woman bill that would protect victims like Laci Peterson just because it acknowledges the death of their baby," Ertelt said.
The vote represented the first time the House has voted on the bill, which Senator John Barrasso, its sponsor, has tried repeatedly to get through the legislature.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Wyoming – https://www.prolifewyoming.com