WASHINGTON (May 8, 2003) -- The spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, in solidarity with the family of murder victims Laci and Conner Peterson, has urged Congress to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, soon to be renamed "Laci and Conner's Law" in memory of the slain mother and child. The legislation would legally recognize the unborn child as a second victim if he or she is injured or killed in a federal crime of violence.
"Laci Peterson's family, and the American people, see clearly that there were two victims of this tragedy," said Cathleen Cleaver, Esq. "It's sad and ridiculous for anyone to suggest that Laci's family has only one loved one to mourn. It's time that our federal laws against violence embrace reality."
In a letter to the bill's chief sponsors in the House and Senate, Congresswoman Melissa Hart and Senator Mike Dewine, Laci Peterson's mother and four brothers and sisters said, "we have not only lost our future with our daughter and sister, but with our grandson and nephew as well." They asked that the bill be renamed "Laci and Conner's Law" in their memory.
"The murders of Laci and Conner Peterson have shocked the nation," Cleaver said. Women and their unborn children deserve the new legal protections this bill offers."
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act was passed by the House of Representatives twice before, but pro-abortion groups such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood have blocked the bill in the Senate, even though it explicitly excludes abortion.
"Unborn children can own property, sue for paternity rights and loss of companionship, and receive welfare benefits," Cleaver said, "and in two dozen states they can be recognized as a victim of violent crime. Pro-abortion groups must not be allowed to invoke abortion to deny the chances of protection for women and their children in federal crimes of violence."