Unborn Victims Act

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Unborn Victims of Violence Act

Next week, the House is scheduled to hold its first anti-choice vote of the year. Trying to slip its anti-choice leanings under the radar, the House will be considering a covert assault on reproductive rights called the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" (H.R. 503). Written with the assistance of the National Right to Life Committee, this bill would be the first federal law to recognize a fetus at any stage of development, from conception forward, as an independent "victim" of a crime with legal rights distinct from the woman who has been harmed by a violent criminal act.

Proponents of this legislation do not aim to protect women. In fact, they have consistently rejected proposals that would appropriately punish violence against women by enhancing the penalty when a criminal act results in harm to a pregnant woman. Enhanced penalties would put the focus of the law where it should be: on the potentially devastating loss or injury to the woman that occurs when her pregnancy is compromised. Unfortunately, the House has moved ahead with this anti-choice legislation in an attempt to erode the very foundation of the right to choose by elevating the status of a fetus in the eyes of the law.

Take Action! This legislation is likely to receive a floor vote in the House next week! You can read more about the bill and send a FREE FAX to your Representative from our action alert at www.aclu.org/action/antichoice107.html
Source: Donald Cavanaugh, ACLU Action Network

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