Senate passage last week of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (also known as “Laci and Conner’s Law”) is being hailed as another giant victory for the culture of life.
Dr. James C. Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family, said the Senate vote affirms in law what is common sense to more than 80 percent of Americans — there are two victims in violent crimes committed against pregnant women and their preborn children.
President Bush signed the bill into law April 1, making it the second major pro-life victory in less than six months. The federal ban on partial-birth abortion was signed late last year.
“This is a triumphant year for every American who believes all life is precious,” Dobson said.
“We applaud the Senate for voting for justice for women and their children,” said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, director of planning and information for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. “No woman should ever be told she lost nothing when she loses her child to a brutal attacker.”
Ruse noted that the Senate agreed to discuss the bill on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation.
“There is no such thing as coincidence, but there are miracles in which God wishes to remain anonymous,” Ruse said. “That day, when Catholics contemplate the moment when the Son of God became man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the U.S. Senate debated whether a child who is in the womb of his mother when she is violently attacked might also be seen as a victim to the assault.”
The bill addresses federal crimes of violence wherein the death of an unborn child is not currently recognized or charged. The bill exempts abortion, but the abortion lobby fought the bill anyway.
“Abortion activists recoil from any acknowledgment of a child's existence before birth, whatever the context, and however bizarre the argument, in order to protect the ‘logic’ of Roe v. Wade,” Ruse said.
“Senator Dianne Feinstein pushed for a substitute bill that would add penalties for interrupting a woman's ‘pregnancy’ but erases any mention of the child as a victim because of this fear about undermining Roe,” she said. “But the child was the whole point. A woman who has lost an unborn child in a violent attack deserves the law's recognition that both she and her child were victims of the crime. Anything less is an affront to women and their children.”
Ruse said it defies logic that on Monday a child can inherit property or file claims in court and on Tuesday he disappears in the eyes of the law if an abortion choice is made. “The ‘logic’ of Roe v. Wade is like the emperor's new clothes,” she said, “and the abortion lobby stands in fear of the day when this logic is revealed to be just as insubstantial.”
But not all pro-life groups were as optimistic.
“This law has a clearly stated exemption for abortions, which is why the American Life League (ALL) cannot approve of the language in this bill,” said Joseph R. Giganti, ALL’s director of media and government relations. “This is also why we will continue to educate the American people and our legislators to the simple truth that all preborn babies' civil right to life must be defended from acts of murder, no matter what the method — especially if the child is killed by abortion.”
(Michael Flach is the Editor of The Arlington Catholic Herald. This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)