Strong support for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act comes from a likely source -- Laci Peterson's family. With the Modesto, Calif., woman's murder in December, her parents lost a daughter and a grandchild. Laci was eight months pregnant when she died.
Awaiting trial is Peterson's husband, Scott. Because California is one of 26 states with a fetal homicide law, prosecutors charged him with two deaths -- his wife and unborn son's. Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha, noted that Scott would only be charged with one death in her home state of Texas. She urges support for the bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, and Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Pa.
"(The bill) is necessary to prevent any surviving grandparent, such as myself, from being told, 'In the eyes of the law, you lost a daughter, but not a grandson,'" Rocha said in her letter to Congress.
Strong opposition comes from the pro-abortion lobby. Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and the National Organization for Women say the sole purpose of such legislation is to undermine Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that made abortion rights the law of the land. Once news broke that Scott Peterson was charged with his unborn son's death, a New Jersey chapter president of NOW, Mavra Stark, weighed in:
"If this is murder, well, then any time a late-term fetus is aborted, they could call it murder. There's something about this that bothers me a little bit. Was it born, or was it unborn? If it was unborn, then I can't see charging him with a double-murder. He was wanted and expected. (Laci) had a name for him, but if he wasn't born, he wasn't born. It sets a kind of precedent."
As to what kind of precedent might be set, Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt explained: "If they are able to make fetuses people in law with the same standing as women and men, then Roe will be moot."
This criticism aimed at the bill only serves to illustrate what the pro-abortion community lacks. Consistency.
The justification for abortion rights, as I've had it explained to me through the years by college professors, politicians and militant college students, is:
If a pregnant woman wants what's developing in her womb, it's a baby. If the same woman doesn't want what's in her womb, she may destroy it. Her body, her choice.
(Apply that reasoning elsewhere in life. "That's not a bus racing toward me on this street because I don't want it to be!")
This brings us to the Peterson case. Laci wanted what was growing in her womb. She knew her unborn child's sex. She gave him a name, Conner. Exercising her rights as defined by Planned Parenthood, Laci chose life for her baby.
It's only logical then to to point out that whoever killed Laci also violated her reproductive rights. A fair-minded person might believe that to be consistent with itself, NOW would stand with Sharon Rocha in supporting a bill to punish those who deprive pregnant women of their unborn children. Feldt and Stark examined the facts, however, and ... defend abortion. Can't have any federal law opening people's eyes to abortion's reality twisting, right?
A final note: Feldt and Stark reflexively use the word "fetus" to dismiss and dehumanize the unborn. That term doesn't mean "mass of tissue." It's Latin for "offspring" or "young one" ... or "baby," if you want to be more specific.
To contact City Editor Heath Griner, e-mail him at email@example.com.
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