WASHINGTON (July 8, 2003) -- Today members of Congress will hear expert testimony on the importance of recognizing two victims in violent assaults on pregnant women. The hearing, held by the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, will consider the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, now named "Laci and Conner's Law" in memory of Laci Peterson and her unborn son. 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.
"When pregnant women and their babies are subject to violence, justice demands recognition of both victims," said Cathleen Cleaver, Esq., spokesperson of the U.S. Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "Anything less is an affront to women and their children."
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives twice before. But abortion advocacy groups such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood convinced pro-abortion Senators to block the bill in the Senate, even though it explicitly excludes abortion.
"The reason we're even debating this issue is that radical abortion activists recoil from any acknowledgment of a child's existence before birth," Cleaver said. "Their extreme views have forced them to make ridiculous and offensive arguments against this bill."
"Only the abortion lobby will tell a woman that she's lost nothing when she loses her child to a brutal attacker," said Cleaver. "In this, as in so many other instances, abortion advocates are working against women. Women deserve better than this."
"We applaud Congresswoman Melissa Hart for championing the rights of women and children with this important legislation," Cleaver said.