Senate Brings the Unborn Victims of Violence Act to a Vote

( [email protected] ) Mar 22, 2004 05:18 PM EST

The bill, which recognizes two victims – the baby and the mother, when a violent crime is committed against a pregnant woman, has been passed the House 254-163 in February and after years of delay by the Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has reached an agreement to bring the bill to a vote the week of March 22nd, Family Research Council reported.

Once the bill passes Congress, President Bush will sign the bill into law. Under the law, criminals who commit an already defined federal crime of violence against a pregnant mother can be charged with a second offense on behalf of the second victim, the unborn child. The bill only applies to crimes committed under federal or U.S. military jurisdiction and it does not affect state laws.

The Democrats, who oppose the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, are preparing two amendments to prohibit it from becoming a law. Senator Feinstein (D-CA) will offer a "one-victim" substitute that would impose stiffer penalties for a crime against a pregnant woman, but would not recognize the child as a second victim. Senator Murray (D-WA) will offer the second amendment, which is intended to block the Unborn Victims of Violence Act through procedural maneuvering.

According to FRC, 80 percent of Americans believe there are two victims in such crime against a pregnant woman. FRC is encouraging Americans to act against those amendments and support S.1019 so that two victims can be recognized when there’s crime against a pregnant woman.