Editor s Note | All law in America is based upon precedent; a law is made because its authority is derived from another law, which derived its authority from a previous law, and so on. This proposal below begins a process towards creating a law that will, if passed, inevitably be used as the precedent for making all abortions a Federal crime. - wrpBy Associated Press
Friday 25 April 2003
WASHINGTON -- The White House urged Congress on Friday to pass a law making it a federal crime to harm a fetus during an assault on its mother, a subject currently in the news in connection with a California murder case.
The House passed legislation in 2001 supported by President Bush that would make it a criminal offense to injure or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. The Senate never took up the measure.
Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer declined to comment specifically on the California case in which Scott Peterson has been charged with murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn child.
But asked whether it is appropriate for the husband to be charged with two murders, Fleischer responded that the president believes that "when an unborn child is injured or killed during the commission of a crime of violence, the law should recognize what most people immediately recognize, and that is that such a crime has two victims."
Peterson pleaded innocent on Monday. Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant, disappeared on Christmas Eve, and the bodies washed ashore last week in San Francisco Bay, three miles from where Scott Peterson had said he was fishing.
California law permits a murder charge for a fetus if a pregnant woman is slain.
"The president calls on the House and calls on the Senate to again pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act," Fleischer said.
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