Unborn Child Was Fort Hood Shooting’s 14th Victim, Obama Should Prosecute

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 11, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Unborn Child Was Fort Hood Shooting’s 14th Victim, Obama Should Prosecute

by Maria Vitale
LifeNews.com Opinion Columnist
November 11, 2009

LifeNews.com Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for LifeNews.com. She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.

It was beyond heartbreaking, seeing a young widow pausing before a picture of her beloved soldier, killed not on the battlefields of Iraq or Afghanistan, but on the presumably safe spot of Fort Hood, Texas.

I had to turn away from the television screen, the pain on her face was so great.

In the massive media coverage following Major Nidal Hasan’s killing spree at the military post, I have heard over and over again about the death toll from the tragedy.

But seldom mentioned is the most hidden victim — soldier Francheska Velez’s unborn baby. Velez was on maternity leave when she stopped at Ft. Hood, where she and the child she carried in her womb fell victim to Hasan’s bullet.

In the interest of true justice, Hasan should be prosecuted under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as Laci and Conner’s law, named for the pregnant woman and unborn baby who were murdered in California by Scott Peterson, the baby’s father.

It would seem that the law applies in this case for three reasons: the act of violence was committed on federal property…the shooting was allegedly done by a member of the military…and the violence could be classified as an act of terrorism.

Then there’s the question of Texas law.

According to National Right to Life, under a law signed in June of 2003 and taking effect in September of that year, the protections of the entire criminal code extend to “an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.” This law does not apply to “conduct committed by the mother of the unborn child” or to “a lawful medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed health care provider with the requisite consent.”

Velez had a right to give birth to her baby. Her child had a right to be protected from violence.

Velez’s cousin, Jennifer Arzuaga, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, “She (Velez) was supposed to be coming very, very soon. Everyone’s devastated. Everyone’s at a loss for words. She was very young. She wasn’t supposed to die the way she died.”

Velez became part of the Army three years ago, signing up because she desired travel and the opportunity to make a difference. As Arzuaga told the Post, “She always made everybody happy. That’s what it was about for her—her family and her friends. She didn’t really like it, but she was okay. She was just keeping strong. She was ready for anything.”

Including being ready to give birth. One man, violently following his own agenda, took that away from her. He should be brought to justice, not only for what he did to adults, but what he did to an innocent child.

The Obama Administration has a moral obligation to press for prosecution of Hasan under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. If such a legal path is ignored, it will demonstrate to the world that the President is caving into a pro-abortion lobby who will not recognize the legal rights of any child in the womb—even a child whose mother desperately longs to give birth.

My father had a favorite saying which he applied to criminal and terroristic acts: “Who weeps for the victim?” Let’s hope that, in this case, the President weeps for the victim who never had a chance to see a mother’s loving face.

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