Kansas Unborn Victims Law Protecting Women, Children May Get Test Case

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 27, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Unborn Victims Law Protecting Women, Children May Get Test Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 27,

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The state of Kansas may see the first application of its unborn victims law, a statute that offers protection and justice to pregnant women and their unborn children who are victims of violence. In this case, suspect Sedale Fox is charged with killing Olivia Jackson — who was just five weeks away from giving birth.

Fox may have been the father of Jackson’s baby and he is accused of shooting her in her home last Tuesday.

That came after Fox and an accomplice allegedly used a pipe bomb at Jackson’s home to try to kill her.

Kansas lawmakers put "Alexa’s Law" into place last year after 14-year-old pregnant teenager Chelsea Ann Brooks was shot and killed in Wichita two years ago.

The law defines an "unborn child" as a member "of the species homo sapiens, in utero, at any stage of gestation from fertilization to birth."

For the purpose of Kansas criminal law, the law calls an unborn child a "person" and a "human being" with respect to first degree murder, second degree murder, capital murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and numerous battery offenses.

That’s important, Mary Kay Culp of Kansans for Life says, because it allows prosecutors to charge criminals for not just killing or injuring the mother — but the baby as well.

"If you kill a pregnant woman and her baby dies also, then you can be charged with two murders," she told a local Fox News station. "It is up to the prosecutor. It gives the prosecutor another tool if he desires to use it."

Fox reported that the Leavenworth County attorney has not made a decision on whether to use the state law in this case.

They are awaiting an autopsy report to determine whether or not to charge Fox with the death of her daughter.

Fox has a preliminary hearing in the case on March 27.