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NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE
CONDEMNS KERRY FOR
HIS VOTE AGAINST UNBORN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE ACT
WASHINGTON (March 26, 2004) -- The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC)
assailed Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) for his vote against the Unborn
Victims of Violence Act (H.R. 1997), which passed the U.S. Senate 61-38 on
Thursday, March 25.
The bill, also known as "Laci and Conner's Law," recognizes the unborn child
as a second victim when he or she is killed or injured during the commission
of a violent federal crime.
"Apparently, John Kerry believes that if a criminal commits a federal crime
that injures a pregnant woman and kills her unborn son or daughter,
prosecutors should tell the grieving mother that she did not really lose a
baby," stated NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson.
The Senate defeated, 50-49, a substitute proposal offered by Sen. Dianne
Feinstein (D-Ca.), that would have codified the doctrine that when a woman
and her unborn child are injured or killed during a federal crime, that
crime has only a single victim. Kerry voted for the Feinstein single-victim
Some other senators -- including Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Arlen Specter
(R-Pa.) -- first voted for the Feinstein single-victim substitute, but after
that killer amendment narrowly failed, turned around and voted to pass the
Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
"When a criminal attacks a woman who carries an unborn child, he claims two
victims -- but Senators Daschle, Specter, and 47 others initially voted for
the bill to say there is only one victim in such a crime," said Johnson.
According to three national public opinion
polls, about 80% of the public agrees that a crime like the killing of
Laci and Conner Peterson in California has two victims and should be charged
as two homicides. The position of opponents of the bill that such crimes
have only one victim -- the pregnant woman -- is supported by only 7 to 10%
of the public in the three polls cited.
Members of families who have lost loved ones -- born and unborn -- in
violent crimes, were in Washington this week to urge senators to recognize
that these crimes have two victims. These included Sharon Rocha and Ron
Grantski, the mother and stepfather of Laci Peterson and grandparents of
Conner. The State of California is prosecuting that crime as a double
The NRLC website contains detailed
information on the cases of some of the other victims and family members of
victims who were in Washington this week.
In a statement issued after the vote yesterday, President Bush said,
"Pregnant women who have been harmed by violence, and their families, know
that there are two victims -- the mother and the unborn child -- and both
victims should be protected by Federal law. I look forward to signing this
important legislation into law."
H.R. 1997 passed the House of Representatives on February 26 by a vote of
The NRLC website contains the most extensive resources on unborn victims of
violence and fetal homicide laws available anywhere on the Internet, at