by Steven Ertelt
March 29, 2007
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas state Senate gave final approval Thursday morning to a bill that would protect pregnant women and their unborn children from acts of violence. Alexa’s Law passed the Senate 26-14 vote early Thursday and now heads to the state House for a concurrence vote.
The bill enjoys strong support from Kansans for Life, which says it doesn’t expect any problems getting the House to sign off on the Senate changes. A House vote is expected next week.
The bigger problem is expected when the bill gets to the desk of pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who has vetoed pro-life legislation before that limits abortions.
With the bill passing in the Senate with 26 votes and with 27 needed to overturn a potential gubernatorial veto, KFL is asking pro-life advocates to call their elected officials over the three week break and urging them to overturn the veto if Sebelius does that.
The legislation would allow two charges when a criminal kills both a pregnant mother and her unborn child in an act of violence. Current state law doesn’t allow prosecutors to hold attackers accountable for both crimes.
The bill is known as Alexa’s Law and is named after teenager Chelsea Brooks and her baby Alexa who were both murdered. Chelsea’s family was disturbed to learn the state had no law charging the attacker with killing Alexa.
"I honestly didn’t think it would be such a challenge to get this point," Terri Brooks, Chelsea’s mother, said recently. "I was very surprised Kansas didn’t have a fetal homicide law."
"You would think if we can pass laws to protect animals such as Scruffy’s law which makes it a felony to mistreat an animal….that we can pass a law to protect human life," father Darren Brooks added.
Chelsea’s pregnant body was found in Butler County. The alleged killer was charged only with the murder of Chelsea, an 8th grade student from Wichita.
The state Senate defeated the bill twice before when committees failed to take a vote on it.
Currently, 34 states have such a law and 24 of them protect pregnant women and their babies throughout pregnancy.