by Steven Ertelt
March 12, 2007
Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal likes to cast an image in this conservative state as a moderate — someone who can get along with his Democratic Party and residents of the state who are to the right of most of the nation. However, he’s coming under fire for vetoing a bill that would protect pregnant women like Laci Peterson.
On Friday, Freudenthal vetoed SF 118, which is a measure that would allow prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they kill both a pregnant mother and her unborn child in a lethal attack.
Current Wyoming law does not allow prosecutors to hold attackers accountable for the death of the baby.
"The governor’s position is that Wyoming state statute already does a good job of protecting pregnant women," Freudenthal spokeswoman Cara Eastwood said.
Pro-life groups said state law allows criminals to kill a woman’s unborn child and to receive no fine or punishment for the action. They condemned the governor’s veto saying it was a disservice to women.
Steven Ertelt, the president of Right to Life of Wyoming, statewide pro-life group that has 9,000 members and led the fight for this bill to become law, said his group was upset by the veto.
"We are gravely disappointed by Governor Freudenthal’s decision to ignore the plight of pregnant women and their unborn children who become victims of violence. With his veto, the governor has told the women of our state that they don’t deserve the utmost protection and justice should a criminal attack and kill them and their baby," Ertelt said.
"Knowing that he signed a bill to increase the punishment for killing a police dog, the governor has now said the death of an animal is more important than the death of a baby. Using his first veto of the session to kill this bill is a slap in the face to the women and children of Wyoming," Ertelt added.
Freudenthal’s main reason for vetoing the bill was his insistence that it would affect the state’s abortion law, though the language of the bill had nothing to do with abortion.
The bill also would not come into play unless a criminal attacked a pregnant woman he knew was pregnant and killed both her and her baby. That rules out the issue of abortion.
Ertelt also said he was disappointed that the governor chose to veto the bill well after the legislative session ended, with lawmakers unable to have the chance to override the bill.
Freudenthal also vetoed the bill on a late Friday afternoon, a time that escapes the most media attention and that of the public as they head off to enjoy their weekend.
"The timing of the veto shows the governor’s disingenuousness in that he doesn’t want the grief of hearing from people across the state about this wrongheaded veto," Ertelt said. "Governor Freudenthal should be ashamed to veto a bill that’s federal law and law in 34 other states and to do it this way."
ACTION: Please contact Governor Freudenthal immediately and express your disappointment. You can call the governor at 307-777-7434, send a faxed letter to 307-632-3909 or send an email using the form located at https://wyoming.gov/governor/contactgovernor.asp.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Wyoming – https://www.prolifewyoming.com