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May 2003



The Nation Debates:One Victim or Two?




President Bush Urges Action on NRLC-Backed Bill

Murders of Laci and Conner Peterson Focus Attention of Lawmakers on
Unborn Victims of Violence Act

Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), chief Senate sponsor of Unborn Victims of Violence Act (S. 1019). Congresswoman Melissa Hart (R-Pa.), chief House sponsor of Unborn Victims of Violence Act (H.R. 1997).

WASHINGTON (May 8, 2003) - - Widespread public interest in the California murders of Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, has sparked a new push to win enactment of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in Congress.
The bill would allow criminal charges to be brought on behalf of unborn children who are injured or killed during the commission of federal crimes.
The family of Laci and Conner Peterson released a letter urging Congress to pass the bill, giving it a strong boost to the bill. President Bush also urged Congress to act.



Action Request on Unborn Victims of Violence Act

It will be difficult to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in the U.S. Senate because of strong opposition from groups like NARAL, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood. These groups insist that crimes like the murder of Laci Peterson and her unborn child Conner really only have one victim. It is essential that all senators - - including those who support legal abortion - - hear now from many citizens who agree with President Bush that such crimes have two victims.

 Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), original author of Unborn Victims of Violence Act.  Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), chairman of House Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee.



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From the President

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.


The procedure at issue--what doctors now call intact dilatation and extraction, or intact D&X--involves pulling the fetus's legs and torso out of the uterus and then crushing its skull before removing it entirely.
In 2000, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights, surveyed abortion providers nationwide and estimated that 2,200 such
[partial-birth abortion] procedures were done that year, by 31 physicians.
One aspect of the debate has changed. When it began, some opponents of the ban
[on partial-birth abortions] said the targeted form of abortion was used only when a fetus had extreme abnormalities or a mother's health was endangered by pregnancy. [In other words, the pro-abortionists had been lying.] Now, both sides acknowledge that abortions done late in the second trimester, no matter how they are conducted, are most often performed to end healthy pregnancies because the woman arrived relatively late at her decision to abort. [One side, the pro-lifers, has nothing to "acknowledge now." We told the truth from the very beginning. A correct statement would be: "Now, some opponents of the partial-birth abortion ban admit that"]
A Guttmacher study from 1987 [!] indicates that only 2 percent of abortions done after 16 weeks of pregnancy are done because of fetal abnormalities. [In other words, the truth about that was out years before our campaign to ban partial-birth abortions.]
A vast majority of second-trimester abortions are done using a technique called dilatation and evacuation, or D&E, in which the cervix is dilated, the fetal sac is punctured and drained, and the fetus's head is crushed. Then the body is dismembered and removed.
[Warren] Hern [of Boulder, Colorado] kills the fetus with an injection of the heart drug digoxin a few days ahead of [inducing labor resulting in expulsion of the dead child].
Dr. George R. Tiller of Wichita, Kan., who uses a labor-and-delivery technique, injects the fetus with digoxin one to four days ahead of time.
[intact D&X] technique was designed for abortions done 18 to 20 weeks, when the fetus's head has grown too large to fit through the cervix easily. By 20 weeks, a fetus is typically about eight inches long.
The physician reaches into the uterus to turn the fetus into a feet-first position. The fetus is pulled through the cervix up to the neck. The doctor then pierces the fetal skull with an instrument and drains some of its content. This causes the skull to collapse and fit through the opening.
"The goal of any abortion procedure is the destruction of the fetus," said Dr. Felicia H. Stewart of the University of California at San Francisco.

--Mary Duenwald, New York Times ("Likely Ban on Abortion Technique Leaves Doctors Uneasy"), April 22, 2003. [Bracketed comments added.]

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