Is Killing Pregnant Woman a Double Murder?

Federal lawmakers are considering a controversial bill that would make it a crime to injure or kill a fetus during the commission of a federal violent crime against a pregnant woman.

The bill, which sponsors are calling "Laci and Connor's law" is backed by Sharon Rocha, the mother of Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant when she was slain in California in 2002. Scott Peterson, her widower, is being charged both with Laci's slaying, and the slaying of their unborn son, Connor, because California is one of 29 states with so-called fetal homicide laws.

Supporters of the federal bill say that it helps tighten up federal criminal code. But opponents charge that the bill is all about abortion politics and that supporters are exploiting the Peterson murder. The proposed law grants "personhood" status to a fetus, and would be the first time that federal law established individual legal rights for a fetus, separate from those enjoyed by the mother.

What do you think of the federal law? Do you think it is a way to protect unborn babies, or is it a case of abortion politics? Fill out the e-mail form below.


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