Wyoming House Panel Defeats Bill Failing to Protect Pregnant Women, Unborn
by Steven Ertelt
February 20, 2009
Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — A Wyoming state House committee has defeated a bill pro-life advocates opposed that would fail to protect both mother and unborn child in a violent attack. The act would have increased the penalties for killing a pregnant woman but would have not charged a defendant for killing or injuring a baby.
On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee considered SF 136, a bill that pro-life advocates unsuccessfully tried to defeat in the state Senate.
Right to Life of Wyoming urged members of the committee to oppose the bill saying it did not consider the measure to be pro-life and that it is inadequate.
"We are opposing SF 136 because the bill is a bad version of the bill Senator Barrasso put forward for so many years," the group said.
Senator John Barrasso sponsored a bill in 2007 that went all the way Gov. Dave Freudenthal that acknowledged two victims — mother and child — and allowed for a separate charge for a separate crime for the separate death of the baby.
SF 136 would only charge one crime for one victim and includes no recognition for the fact that an unborn child was killed or injured in the commission of the crime.
Responding to the concerns, members of the panel defeated the bill on a 4-4 vote with one pro-life legislator who may have voted no not attending.
Reps. Erin Mercer, John Patton, Frank Peasley and chairman Keith Gingery voted against the single victim bill.
Siding with the abortion advocates who introduced the measure were Reps. George Bagby, Joseph Barbuto, Richard Cannady, and Mary Throne. Rep. Lorraine Quarberg was not in attendance.
Right to Life said it’s position was not just philosophical.
"We have cases on record where the mother of the unborn child is killed and the baby survives. In fact one case involves the baby of an NFL football player’s girlfriend who survived the shooting and is now paralyzed," the group said.
"This bill says that the defendant is held accountable for the death of the mother, but says nothing of that child who survived the attack and will live the rest of his life disabled. The prosecutor has no ability to bring forth a second charge for the injures that baby sustained under SF 136," the pro-life group added.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Wyoming – https://www.ProLifeWyoming.com
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