Wyoming Legislature Defeats Second Attempt to Approve Unborn Victims Bill
by Steven Ertelt
January 21, 2009
Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — The Wyoming state legislature has defeated yet another attempt to approve an unborn victims bill that calls for two crimes when a pregnant woman and her unborn child are killed or injured. The legislature approved a bill in 2007 that pro-abortion Gov. Dave Freudenthal eventually vetoed.
Freudenthal vetoed the bill in part because the measure did not include an abortion exception, although abortions would not have been prosecuted under the bill.
The new bill, SF 97, sponsored by pro-life Sen. Kit Jennings of Casper, contained an abortion exemption. It also went further.
The new legislation went beyond addressing the kinds of crimes that involve the death of both mother and child and included crimes where a pregnant mother survives the attack or her baby survives.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a Wednesday morning hearing on the bill and spent most of its time discussing the kinds of crimes involved and exceptions when the bill would not be used, as in the case of a miscarriage.
Representatives of Right to Life of Wyoming and the WyWatch Family Institute testified in favor of the bill and told lawmakers that 35 states currently have similar laws on the books.
They also pointed out that the unborn victims laws of ten states have gone to state or federal courts and have been upheld as constitutional in every situation.
The pro-life advocates argued that Wyoming lags behind other states by not providing protection and justice for both mother and child. They cited the case of a pregnant mother and her child who were killed in a November car accident as an additional reason for having the statute on the books.
A pro-abortion attorney and representative Wyoming NARAL spoke against the pro-woman bill and claimed protecting women and children was too confusing. They claimed the bill would have unintended consequences but struggled to come up with concrete examples the bill didn’t address.
Ultimately, the panel defeated the bill on a 3-2 vote with pro-life state senators Tony Ross and Drew Perkins voting in the affirmative. Senator Bruce Burns, a Republican, joined pro-abortion Democrats Ken Decaria and Kathryn Sessions in voting against it.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Wyoming – https://www.ProLifeWyoming.com
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