by Steven Ertelt
June 28, 2006
Montgomery, AL (LifeNews.com) — A new law takes effect on Saturday in Alabama that will protect pregnant women and their unborn children from acts of violence. The measure holds criminals who kill or injure a mother’s baby accountable for two crimes when he attacks a pregnant woman.
The law applies throughout pregnancy and makes the state one of 24 to protect women during all nine months of pregnancy and one of 34 that offer legal protection through all or part of pregnancy.
"I think it’s a major step forward in Alabama for protecting the lives of children in Alabama at every stage of development," said state Sen. Bradley Byrne, a Republican and one of the lawmakers who sponsored the new law.
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.
Rep. Spencer Collier, another sponsor of the bill, told the Birmingham News that "If someone commits a crime of assault or homicide against a pregnant mother, they need to be held accountable for harming not only the pregnant mother but the unborn child."
"We have one more element protecting pregnant mothers," he said.
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley signed the bill in April and 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 legislature voted for the bill unanimously.
Related web sites:
Governor Bob Riley – https://www.governor.state.al.us