McCain on Choice: Unborn Victims of Violence Act
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act was signed by President Bush on April 1, 2004. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act is a law that grants separate legal status to unborn fetuses and embryos and defines them as being a legal victim if injured or killed “at any stage of development in the womb.”
Anti-choice leader, Samuel Casey had this to say about the law:
“In as many areas as we can, we want to put on the books that the embryo is a person…That sets the stage for a jurist to acknowledge that human beings at any stage of development deserve protection – even protection that would trump a woman’s interest in terminating a pregnancy.”
What the Unborn Victims of Violence Act does is protects a fetus under any circumstances whatsoever and places that fetus’ rights above the pregnant woman’s rights. According to the Bush administration as well as anti-choice groups, a woman has no rights if she is pregnant, she is then regarded as an incubator and baby machine, reverting back to the years before women had the right to choose, which is unacceptable in a society where we are still under the impression that we have a come a long way. The rights that she had now support her unborn baby over her and the law sadly recognizes an embryo as a person rather than the actual person. (For state laws on this act, click here.)
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Kate Michelman in response to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act ruling said:
“The anti-choice movement, from President Bush on down, has insisted on using the issue of punishing violence that harms or ends a pregnancy as cover for its campaign to undermine a woman’s right to choose.
There’s no disagreement on the horrific nature of violent crimes against a pregnant woman that harm or end her pregnancy, and the need for harsh penalties against those who commit such terrible acts. The pro-choice movement is committed to the fundamental right of every woman to act on her choice to have a child and bring new life into this world when she chooses to – and we oppose any attempt to deny them of that right, whether by anti-choice judges or violent criminals.
In other words, anti-choice leaders have turned consensus into contention because of a provision that does nothing to punish any criminal or protect any pregnant woman, but is part of a long-term effort to erode Roe v. Wade.“