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Congressman Cole Votes to Protect Pregnant Women, Unborn Children

February 26, 2004
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cole today voted for a House measure protecting pregnant mothers and their unborn children. By a vote of 254-163, the House approved the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (HR 1997), which will charge those who injure or kill an unborn child with a separate offense.

"The bottom line is that when a violent act is committed against a pregnant mother, the perpetrator of the crime must be held accountable for both lives," Congressman Cole said. "When a woman chooses to have a child and someone violently takes that choice away from her, the offender should be held responsible for the life he has taken."

Under current law, an individual who commits a federal crime of violence against a pregnant woman receives no additional punishment for killing or injuring the woman’s unborn child.  Twenty-nine states have passed laws similar to UVVA to correct this injustice.

This legislation has also been called “Laci and Connor’s Law” because of the recent high-profile case of Laci Peterson and her unborn child, Connor.  A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll conducted in August 2003 found that close to 80 percent of all Americans believe that those whose violent actions lead to death of a pregnant woman’s fetus should be charged with murder.