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Unborn Victims Of Violence Act Of 2003

Location: Washington, DC

Unborn Victims Of Violence Act Of 2003 -- (House Of Representatives - February 26, 2004)


Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I oppose H.R. 1997, the so-called "Unborn Victims of Violence Act". Since the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, Congress has slowly passed legislation to erode women's reproductive choices. This is a personal and private decision that should be made by a woman, her family, her physician, and her own beliefs.

This is the third time that people who oppose reproductive freedom for women and their families have attempted this back door maneuver to restrict abortion. Instead of focusing on purely political measures aimed at the erosion of a woman's reproductive freedom, we should be protecting women from violence and increasing assistance to women in life-threatening domestic situations.

Harsh penalties already exist in 38 states for crimes against pregnant women that result in the injury or death of her fetus. The overwhelming majority of crimes against pregnant women that cause injury to her fetus occur in cases of domestic abuse or drunk driving accidents, instances that are prosecutable under currently existing State laws. Nearly one in every three adult women experiences at least one physical assault by their partner during adulthood. Drunk driving accidents continue to result in substantial loss of life in every city across the Nation. H.R. 1997 would do nothing to add to the existing protections against these serious and prevalent crimes.

I support the Lofgren amendment, "the Motherhood Protection Act", a crime bill that would protect pregnant women from violence and impose stiffer penalties than the competing bill, "the Unborn Victims of Violence Act". If protecting pregnant women from violent crime were truly our priority, Congress would have passed the Lofgren amendment to H.R. 1997.



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