A Colorado state Senate committee approved on a party-line vote a bill that would provide justice for unborn children who are killed or injured in violent crimes against their mother.
With Republicans supporting the pro-life bill and Democrats voting against it 3-2 the Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 268, the Offenses Against Unborn Children Act. Colorado Citizens for Life, along with Colorado Family Action, Alliance Defending Freedom and other local and national pro-life groups, stood in support of the legislation.
As LifeNews has reported, the Colorado woman who cut out a 7-month-old unborn baby from Michelle Wilkins’ (pictured above) abdomen, resulting in the death of the infant, will not be charged with murder. That’s because the state lacks an unborn victims law to hold criminals accountable when they kill or injure unborn children in such criminal attacks.
Colorado Citizens for Life said the law is needed to provide justice for pregnant women and their unborn children.
Sarah Zagorski, the Executive Director of Colorado Citizens for Life said, “This horrific case highlights the need for an Unborn Victims of Violence law in Colorado, which would recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide. This woman’s baby was viable and suffered a cruel and violent death. Colorado should have laws punishing perpetrators of these innocent, defenseless victims.”
She added: “SB 268 will bring justice to unborn babies who are injured or killed in violent crimes against their mother. The importance of this legislation came to light in March when Dynel Catece Lane was arrested in Longmont, Colorado after she attacked Michelle Wilkins and cut her seven-month-old unborn baby out of her womb. In this unbelievable act of violence, Wilkins’ baby, Aurora, died but she survived. However, after the incident, a spokeswoman from the Boulder Country District Attorney’s Office said Lane won’t face murder charges for the baby’s death.”
“Recent shows that 76% of American’s support Unborn Victims of Violence legislation. This should show Colorado lawmakers that it’s time for our state to catch up with the rest of Americans and implement laws that reflect what the majority of our citizens believe. It is outrageous that Colorado prosecutors were not able to bring murder charges against Lane but if passed, Cadmen’s bill will prevent this from happening in the future,” she said.
During the committee hearing, pro-abortion groups attempted to claim that the bill would somehow be used to prosecute women for miscarriages, even though federal law and similar laws in dozens of other sates have only been used to provide justice for pregnant women an their unborn children.
“Although Planned Parenthood and the ACLU argued that Colorado’s 2013 “Crimes Against Pregnant Women” law, is sufficient for our state, it didn’t bring Michelle Wilkins or her baby Aurora the justice they deserve. Now SB 268 is headed to the Senate floor,” Zagorski said.
The bill creates a number of crimes against unborn children who are killed or injured in the process of an assault or homicide against the baby’s mother. The measure is similar to bills that have been used in the past to prosecute criminals for two crimes against both mother and child. Unborn victims laws have repeatedly been upheld as constitutional in court.
Dynel Catrece Lane was arrested after she attacked a pregnant woman and cut her 7-month-old unborn baby from her womb. In this unbelievable act of violence, the baby died but the mother, Michelle Wilkins (pictured), survived. A report shows the baby breathed a heavy last gasp before she died.
Colorado state law does not regard unborn children as human beings who deserve justice when they are killed. In 2013, Colorado Democrats killed a bill that would add the state to the list of more than 25 states that provide justice and protection for pregnant women and unborn children. Pro-abortion groups Planned Parenthood and NARAL opposed the bill – the very groups that endorsed Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett in his race for attorney general. Garnett is the county prosecutor who is not bringing forth murder charges against lane for killing Wilkins’ unborn baby.
Senate president Bill Cadman is the sponsor of the unborn victims bill, Senate Bill 268, that mirrors federal law and the laws of dozens of states.
“This is a sad day for the mothers of Colorado, and for the fathers of Colorado,” Cadman said in a statement after no murder charge for Baby Aurora was brought. “And for every Coloradan who was stunned to learn that no murder charges will be brought on behalf of a Longmont infant savagely cut from its mother’s body in one of the most horrific crimes in recent memory.”
“Where’s the justice for that baby?” said Cadman.
“That’s very simple,” he said. “It doesn’t call into question anybody’s rights over their own body. It absolutely protects the right of the mom and of her baby.”
“This really is a horrific situation. . . we need equal protection for the 60,000 plus babies who are born in Colorado every year; protection that they don’t have now; protection that is afforded to them in 38 states, including some of the most liberal like California. That’s what this bill does. This is not new. This is an issue that’s come before us. Frankly, it was a discussion that I had with a house member, Representative Joshi, about two months ago, and it certainly is timely now,” Cadman said.
Current state law in these kinds of cases is governed by a 2013 law called the Unlawful Termination of a Pregnancy Act, that merely attaches a sentence enhancement for crimes against pregnant women — while ignoring the death of or injury to the unborn baby. That law provides no justice for unborn children.
- Sen. Ellen Roberts SD 6 (R) – YES 303-866-4884 [email protected]
- Sen. Kevin Lundberg SD 15 (R) – YES 303-866-4853 [email protected]
- Sen. John Cooke SD 13 (R) – YES 303-866-4451 [email protected]
- Sen. Andy Kerr SD 22 (D) – NO 303-866-4859 [email protected]
- Sen. Michael Merrifield SD 11 (D) – NO 303-866-6364 [email protected]