by Steven Ertelt
April 21, 2006
Montgomery, AL (LifeNews.com) — Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican, signed a bill into law on Monday that would provide additional protection and justice for pregnant women and their unborn children. The measure allows prosecutors to charge criminals with a second crime when they attack a pregnant mother and kill or injure her unborn baby.
Riley said the new law is "one of the session’s greatest accomplishments."
"Under this new law, those who harm a pregnant woman will answer for the full extent of the injury they’ve caused and for all the crimes they have committed," he added.
“All life is a gift from God and those who commit crimes against any child, born and unborn, should be punished severely,” Governor Riley said.
The bill is referred to as the “Brody Bill” in memory of Brody Parker, the unborn son of 23-year-old Brandi Parker of Albertville, who was 8 months pregnant with Brody when she was fatally shot in July, 2005.
Roger Parker of Guntersville pressed for the law for daughter and unborn grandson. He and his wife Pam attended the bill-signing ceremony on Monday with several lawmakers.
There has been no arrest in the case and the new law can’t be applied retroactively to it, but the Parker family says it will be a help for future cases.
"My grandson and my daughter will have a legacy that far outlives our lifetimes," Roger Parker said.
Sponsored by Sen. Bradley Byrne, a Republican, the measure treats an unborn child as a victim if killed or injured in an assault on the pregnant mother. Previously criminals were only charged with assaulting the mother.
The legislature voted for the bill unanimously.
The law is popular with Alabama residents and the Alabama Republican Party highlighted the new law in campaign telephone calls it made to prospective voters.
Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, told AP that Republican lawmakers made the difference because the bill was stuck in the Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee until lawmakers were pressured to bring it up.
Sen. Rodger Smitherman, a Democrat from Birmingham, who chairs the judicial panel had refused to allow a vote.
The Senate judicial panel took Bryne’s measure, SB 7, and removed language saying that it applied to an unborn child at any stage of development. Instead, it left the term undefined. As such the measure still covers unborn children throughout pregnancy.
Related web sites:
Governor Bob Riley – https://www.governor.state.al.us