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Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2003

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


UNBORN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE ACT OF 2003 -- (House of Representatives - February 26, 2004)

Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 529, I call up the bill (H.R. 1997) to amend title 18, United States Code, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice to protect unborn children from assault and murder, and for other purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.

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Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith).

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, this on my left is a picture of Tracy Marciniak holding her son at his funeral. She met with me. She met with other Members. The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot) just spoke of this, to tell us what happened to her and to her son Zachariah. Minimum time was given to the attacker, her husband, and there was no penalty whatsoever imposed for the killing of this little baby. Tracy has written to Congress, and I hope you all stand up and take notice, and said "Congress should approve the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Opponents of the bill have put forth a counterproposal, known as the Lofgren amendment. I have read it," she goes on to say, "and it is offensive to me because it says that there is only one victim in such a crime, the woman who is pregnant.

"Please hear me," she goes on to say. "On the night of February 8, 1992, there were two victims. I was nearly killed. Little Zachariah died.

"Any lawmaker who is thinking of voting for the Lofgren 'one-victim' amendment should first look at this picture of me holding my dead son at his funeral. Then I would say to that Representative, 'If you really think that nobody died that night, then vote for the 'one-victim' amendment.' "

Mr. Speaker, the Lofgren amendment stripped of its surface appeal trappings and enhanced penalty does have one proabortion strategic objective, and that is denial. Denial that an unborn child has inherent dignity, denial that an unborn child has worth, denial that an unborn child has innate value. The gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey) said a few moments ago in this debate we all oppose violence against women. I thank her for that admission.

Back in the 106th Congress I was prime sponsor of legislation that included the Violence Against Women Act, the 5-year authorization. The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), who was then chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, worked to craft language that throws the book at those who commit violence against women, while providing shelters, and so many others worked on that. It was division B of that bill. I was the prime sponsor. So no one on that side of that divide takes a back seat to anyone that says that somehow we are not against violence against women.

The gentlewoman from Wisconsin (Ms. Baldwin) said a moment ago that the woman is a victim and not the only victim. There is another victim, the baby. And I just want to say again, talking about the gentlewoman from California's (Ms. Woolsey) comments, while we are all against violence against women, we are not all against violence against unborn children. And this bill offered by the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania (Ms. Hart) and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) and the others who are leading the effort on this are saying a mugger or killer does not have an unfettered right or access to an unborn child to kill him or her.

The amniotic sac is a protective covering over an unborn child, but it is not made of Kevlar. Those sacs can be pierced so easily by a knife or by a bullet, and we are saying when a knife or a bullet or a fist pierces and kills a little baby like Zachariah, there ought to be a separate offense. Yes, throw the book at the mugger for any offense that he commits against a woman, we are all for that, but do not deny a penalty for a child who has been killed by that mugger.

Vote against the Lofgren amendment and for the Hart bill.

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