Two People, Two Deaths: Death is More Than an Interruption
By Paul Weyrich
LifeNews.com Note: Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) stated in a letter to South Dakotans that he favored acting "expeditiously" on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. In his June 12, 2003 letter, Daschle stated: "I agree with the Republican Leader that Congress should consider this issue expeditiously."
The rhetoric of the Senate Minority Leader fails to match the record. The Unborn Victims of Violence failed to reach the Senate floor quickly. After all, Tom Daschle has a voting record slanted in favor of legalized abortion, having voted for the Harkin (D-IA) Amendment to endorse Roe v. Wade and amendments by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to gut the Partial Birth Abortion ban only to vote in the end for it.
Don’t forget that Daschle must balance the wishes of his constituents in conservative South Dakota with the wishes of the powerful lobbies and PACs, such as the National Abortion Rights Action League, Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List, known for their support of his party and its pro-abortion candidates.
In fact, Daschle, then leader of the Senate’s majority, a week before the 2002 election, in an e-mail to NARAL supporters proclaimed: "I’ve stood up for a woman’s right to choose, and the pro-choice leadership of the Senate has made a difference by safeguarding women’s rights from the anti-choice agenda."
Now, nine months later, push is coming to shove and thanks to the fortitude displayed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in negotiations with the Minority Leader, all members of the Senate will soon be forced to show their true colors on this crucial question: Should an unborn child killed in commission of a federal crime be considered to be a murder victim or will Federal law enforcement be forced to continue pretending that no life was lost.
The House made clear its view late last month when it passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (aka: "Laci and Conner’s Law") by a vote of 254-163.
The Senate is a different matter. There, the pro-abortion forces are relatively larger, and pro-abortion legislators such as Senators Feinstein and Boxer are willing to do everything in their power to stop this bill from becoming law.
All this bill does is recognize the unborn child as a victim if he or she is killed or injured during the commission of a federal crime. The Laci and Conner Peterson killing had two victims: mother and son. What about those cases in which the mother escapes serious injury but the unborn child is killed?
Senator Feinstein is expected to offer a "Single Victim substitute" that increases penalties for the "interruption" of a pregnancy, but essentially codifies that there can only be one true victim — the mother.
Carol and Buford Lyons, visiting from Kentucky, told legislators how their own daughter and unborn grandchild had been murdered earlier this year.
"Nobody can tell me that there were not two victims" said Mrs. Lyons. "I placed Landon in Ashley’s arms, wrapped in a baby blanket that I had sewn for him, just before I kissed my daughter goodbye for the last time and closed the casket."
That’s what is at stake with this vote. A matter of simple and deserved justice. Should killers of unborn children be forced to pay for their crimes?
The U.S. Senate is expected to take this issue up very soon after they return to Washington next week. Right now, the Senate is in recess and many senators are back home. There is no better time to remind your senators that what the grassroots thinks about what really does count. Letting your senator know what you think about this issue can be done through phone calls, letters or visits to town hall meetings.
The loss of a young mother’s life is bad enough, but to pretend that a young child did not lose his life too is unacceptable.
Can we as a society continue looking the other way, pretending that the cruel taking of an innocent life did not happen? Can we afford to be silent before this crucial vote?