Members of Congress on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act

The following pro-life members of Congress made the following remarks during the debate on the Unborn Victims Violence Act:

* "The law must not look upon a violent criminal's unborn victims with an indifferent eye," said House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX). "Every young life must be acknowledged. And every young life must be protected from predatory criminals." DeLay crticized the pro-abortion substitute that would have stiffened penalties for harming a pregnant woman but not made harming a fetus a separate crime. "Life and death should not be subsumed beneath a semantic fog," he said.

* "Without this bill, crimes against these innocent victims will go unpunished," said Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "This legislation cultivates a more compassionate society by enhancing the protection for pregnant women. Specifically, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act will provide just punishment for criminals like Glendale R. Black of Wisconsin who, on February 8, 1992, brutally beat his wife, Tracy Marciniak, who was nine months pregnant with her unborn baby, Zachariah. Zachariah was just four days from being delivered from his mother's womb. At the hospital Zachariah was delivered dead. At that time, Wisconsin did not have an unborn victims law like H.R. 503, so Black was convicted of only assault and is already eligible for parole."

* Rep. Jo Ann Davis, (R-VA) supported the legislation. "Currently under Federal law, if a criminal assaults or kills a woman who is pregnant and thereby causes death or injury to that unborn child, the criminal faces no consequences for taking or injuring an unborn life," Davis said in a written statement. "The Unborn Victims of Violence Act provides defense for the defenseless, and follows the lead of several states that already give legal protection to unborn children for criminal acts of violence," Davis said.

* "Why is it ... so many intelligent, talented and gifted lawmakers to whom so much has been given, are going to such great lengths to deny basic protection in law for an unborn child who has been shot, beaten or stabbed, or other wise mutilated by an attacker?" New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith asked rhetorically.

* "The Unborn Victims of Violence Act says that if someone commits a federal crime and takes the life of a mother with child, then that murderer ought to be prosecuted for two lives destroyed, not just one," said House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr. (R-OK).

* Steve Chabot (R-OH): "Roe v. Wade doesn't preclude Congress from defining when life begins. Roe v. Wade doesn't allow a third-party to kill or injure an unborn child and several state courts have agreed with Supreme Court decisions to this effect."

* Melissa Hart (R-PA): "This is a measure that respects women ... and helps prosecute extreme acts of domestic violence." In 1998, she was a leader in helping the state of Pennsylvania pass similar legislation.

* Henry Hyde (R-IL): "I can't imagine a more extreme posture than to deny the humanity of the unborn. How many times has a young couple displayed proudly the pictures of a sonagram. Tell them when their child is killed that there is no victim."

Source: Pro-Life Infonet; April 26, 2001

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