Amendment Text: H.Amdt.465 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (02/26/2004)

This Amendment appears on page H660 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H637-H668]
                 UNBORN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE ACT OF 2003

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 529, I 
call up the bill (H.R. 1997) to amend title 18, United States Code, and 
the Uniform Code of Military Justice to protect unborn children from 
assault and murder, and for other purposes, and ask for its immediate 
consideration in the House.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Linder). Pursuant to House Resolution 
529, the bill is considered read for amendment.
  The text of H.R. 1997 is as follows:

                               H.R. 1997

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Unborn Victims of Violence 
     Act of 2003'' or ``Laci and Conner's Law''.

     SEC. 2. PROTECTION OF UNBORN CHILDREN.

       (a) In General.--Title 18, United States Code, is amended 
     by inserting after chapter 90 the following:

              ``CHAPTER 90A--PROTECTION OF UNBORN CHILDREN

``Sec.
``1841. Protection of unborn children.

     ``Sec. 1841. Protection of unborn children

       ``(a)(1) Whoever engages in conduct that violates any of 
     the provisions of law listed in subsection (b) and thereby 
     causes the death of, or bodily injury (as defined in section 
     1365) to, a child, who is in utero at the time the conduct 
     takes place, is guilty of a separate offense under this 
     section.
       ``(2)(A) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, 
     the punishment for that separate offense is the same as the 
     punishment provided under Federal law for that conduct had 
     that injury or death occurred to the unborn child's mother.
       ``(B) An offense under this section does not require proof 
     that--
       ``(i) the person engaging in the conduct had knowledge or 
     should have had knowledge that the victim of the underlying 
     offense was pregnant; or
       ``(ii) the defendant intended to cause the death of, or 
     bodily injury to, the unborn child.
       ``(C) If the person engaging in the conduct thereby 
     intentionally kills or attempts to

[[Page H638]]

     kill the unborn child, that person shall instead of being 
     punished under subparagraph (A), be punished as provided 
     under sections 1111, 1112, and 1113 of this title for 
     intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.
       ``(D) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the death 
     penalty shall not be imposed for an offense under this 
     section.
       ``(b) The provisions referred to in subsection (a) are the 
     following:
       ``(1) Sections 36, 37, 43, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 229, 
     242, 245, 247, 248, 351, 831, 844(d), (f), (h)(1), and (i), 
     924(j), 930, 1111, 1112, 1113, 1114, 1116, 1118, 1119, 1120, 
     1121, 1153(a), 1201(a), 1203, 1365(a), 1501, 1503, 1505, 
     1512, 1513, 1751, 1864, 1951, 1952 (a)(1)(B), (a)(2)(B), and 
     (a)(3)(B), 1958, 1959, 1992, 2113, 2114, 2116, 2118, 2119, 
     2191, 2231, 2241(a), 2245, 2261, 2261A, 2280, 2281, 2332, 
     2332a, 2332b, 2340A, and 2441 of this title.
       ``(2) Section 408(e) of the Controlled Substances Act of 
     1970 (21 U.S.C. 848(e)).
       ``(3) Section 202 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 
     U.S.C. 2283).
       ``(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit 
     the prosecution--
       ``(1) of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for 
     which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person 
     authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or 
     for which such consent is implied by law;
       ``(2) of any person for any medical treatment of the 
     pregnant woman or her unborn child; or
       ``(3) of any woman with respect to her unborn child.
       ``(d) As used in this section, the term `unborn child' 
     means a child in utero, and the term `child in utero' or 
     `child, who is in utero' means a member of the species homo 
     sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the 
     womb.''.
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of chapters for part I 
     of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting 
     after the item relating to chapter 90 the following new item:

``90A. Protection of unborn children........................1841''.....

     SEC. 3. MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM.

       (a) Protection of Unborn Children.--Subchapter X of chapter 
     47 of title 10, United States Code (the Uniform Code of 
     Military Justice), is amended by inserting after section 919 
     (article 119) the following new section:

     ``Sec. 919a. Art. 119a. Protection of unborn children

       ``(a)(1) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in 
     conduct that violates any of the provisions of law listed in 
     subsection (b) and thereby causes the death of, or bodily 
     injury (as defined in section 1365 of title 18) to, a child, 
     who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place, is 
     guilty of a separate offense under this section.
       ``(2)(A) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, 
     the punishment for that separate offense is the same as the 
     punishment provided under this chapter for that conduct had 
     that injury or death occurred to the unborn child's mother.
       ``(B) An offense under this section does not require proof 
     that--
       ``(i) the person engaging in the conduct had knowledge or 
     should have had knowledge that the victim of the underlying 
     offense was pregnant; or
       ``(ii) the accused intended to cause the death of, or 
     bodily injury to, the unborn child.
       ``(C) If the person engaging in the conduct thereby 
     intentionally kills or attempts to kill the unborn child, 
     that person shall, instead of being punished under 
     subparagraph (A), be punished as provided under sections 880, 
     918, and 919(a) of this title (articles 80, 118, and 119(a)) 
     for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human 
     being.
       ``(D) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the death 
     penalty shall not be imposed for an offense under this 
     section.
       ``(b) The provisions referred to in subsection (a) are 
     sections 918, 919(a), 919(b)(2), 920(a), 922, 924, 926, and 
     928 of this title (articles 118, 119(a), 119(b)(2), 120(a), 
     122, 124, 126, and 128).
       ``(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit 
     the prosecution--
       ``(1) of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for 
     which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person 
     authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or 
     for which such consent is implied by law;
       ``(2) of any person for any medical treatment of the 
     pregnant woman or her unborn child; or
       ``(3) of any woman with respect to her unborn child.
       ``(d) In this section, the term `unborn child' means a 
     child in utero, and the term `child in utero' or `child, who 
     is in utero' means a member of the species homo sapiens, at 
     any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.''.
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the 
     beginning of such subchapter is amended by inserting after 
     the item relating to section 919 the following new item:

``919a. 119a. Protection of unborn children.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The amendment printed in the bill, modified 
by the amendment printed in part A of House Report 108-427, is adopted.
  The text of H.R. 1997, as amended, as modified, is as follows:

                               H.R. 1997

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Unborn Victims of Violence 
     Act of 2004'' or ``Laci and Conner's Law''.

     SEC. 2. PROTECTION OF UNBORN CHILDREN.

       (a) In General.--Title 18, United States Code, is amended 
     by inserting after chapter 90 the following:

              ``CHAPTER 90A--PROTECTION OF UNBORN CHILDREN

``Sec.
``1841. Protection of unborn children.

     ``Sec. 1841. Protection of unborn children

       ``(a)(1) Whoever engages in conduct that violates any of 
     the provisions of law listed in subsection (b) and thereby 
     causes the death of, or bodily injury (as defined in section 
     1365) to, a child, who is in utero at the time the conduct 
     takes place, is guilty of a separate offense under this 
     section.
       ``(2)(A) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, 
     the punishment for that separate offense is the same as the 
     punishment provided under Federal law for that conduct had 
     that injury or death occurred to the unborn child's mother.
       ``(B) An offense under this section does not require proof 
     that--
       ``(i) the person engaging in the conduct had knowledge or 
     should have had knowledge that the victim of the underlying 
     offense was pregnant; or
       ``(ii) the defendant intended to cause the death of, or 
     bodily injury to, the unborn child.
       ``(C) If the person engaging in the conduct thereby 
     intentionally kills or attempts to kill the unborn child, 
     that person shall instead of being punished under 
     subparagraph (A), be punished as provided under sections 
     1111, 1112, and 1113 of this title for intentionally killing 
     or attempting to kill a human being.
       ``(D) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the death 
     penalty shall not be imposed for an offense under this 
     section.
       ``(b) The provisions referred to in subsection (a) are the 
     following:
       ``(1) Sections 36, 37, 43, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 229, 
     242, 245, 247, 248, 351, 831, 844(d), (f), (h)(1), and (i), 
     924(j), 930, 1111, 1112, 1113, 1114, 1116, 1118, 1119, 
     1120, 1121, 1153(a), 1201(a), 1203, 1365(a), 1501, 1503, 
     1505, 1512, 1513, 1751, 1864, 1951, 1952 (a)(1)(B), 
     (a)(2)(B), and (a)(3)(B), 1958, 1959, 1992, 2113, 2114, 
     2116, 2118, 2119, 2191, 2231, 2241(a), 2245, 2261, 2261A, 
     2280, 2281, 2332, 2332a, 2332b, 2340A, and 2441 of this 
     title.
       ``(2) Section 408(e) of the Controlled Substances Act of 
     1970 (21 U.S.C. 848(e)).
       ``(3) Section 202 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 
     U.S.C. 2283).
       ``(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit 
     the prosecution--
       ``(1) of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for 
     which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person 
     authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or 
     for which such consent is implied by law;
       ``(2) of any person for any medical treatment of the 
     pregnant woman or her unborn child; or
       ``(3) of any woman with respect to her unborn child.
       ``(d) As used in this section, the term `unborn child' 
     means a child in utero, and the term `child in utero' or 
     `child, who is in utero' means a member of the species homo 
     sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the 
     womb.''.
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of chapters for part I 
     of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting 
     after the item relating to chapter 90 the following new item:

``90A. Protection of unborn children........................1841''.....

     SEC. 3. MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM.

       (a) Protection of Unborn Children.--Subchapter X of chapter 
     47 of title 10, United States Code (the Uniform Code of 
     Military Justice), is amended by inserting after section 919 
     (article 119) the following new section:

     ``Sec. 919a. Art. 119a. Death or injury of an unborn child

       ``(a)(1) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in 
     conduct that violates any of the provisions of law listed in 
     subsection (b) and thereby causes the death of, or bodily 
     injury (as defined in section 1365 of title 18) to, a child, 
     who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place, is 
     guilty of a separate offense under this section and shall, 
     upon conviction, be punished by such punishment, other than 
     death, as a court-martial may direct, which shall be 
     consistent with the punishments prescribed by the President 
     for that conduct had that injury or death occurred to the 
     unborn child's mother.
       ``(2) An offense under this section does not require proof 
     that--
       ``(i) the person engaging in the conduct had knowledge or 
     should have had knowledge that the victim of the underlying 
     offense was pregnant; or
       ``(ii) the accused intended to cause the death of, or 
     bodily injury to, the unborn child.
       ``(3) If the person engaging in the conduct thereby 
     intentionally kills or attempts to kill the unborn child, 
     that person shall, instead of being punished under paragraph 
     (1), be punished as provided under sections 880, 918, and 
     919(a) of this title (articles 80, 118, and 119(a)) for 
     intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.
       ``(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the death 
     penalty shall not be imposed for an offense under this 
     section.
       ``(b) The provisions referred to in subsection (a) are 
     sections 918, 919(a), 919(b)(2), 920(a), 922, 924, 926, and 
     928 of this title (articles 118, 119(a), 119(b)(2), 120(a), 
     122, 124, 126, and 128).
       ``(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit 
     the prosecution--
       ``(1) of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for 
     which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person 
     authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or 
     for which such consent is implied by law;

[[Page H639]]

       ``(2) of any person for any medical treatment of the 
     pregnant woman or her unborn child; or
       ``(3) of any woman with respect to her unborn child.
       ``(d) In this section, the term `unborn child' means a 
     child in utero, and the term `child in utero' or `child, who 
     is in utero' means a member of the species homo sapiens, at 
     any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.''.
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the 
     beginning of such subchapter is amended by inserting after 
     the item relating to section 919 the following new item:

``919a. 119a. Death or injury of an unborn child''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. After 2 hours of debate on the bill, as 
amended, it shall be in order to consider a further amendment printed 
in part B of the report, if offered by the gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Lofgren) or her designee, which shall be considered read, and 
shall be debatable for 1 hour, equally divided and controlled by the 
proponent and an opponent.
  The gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) and the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Nadler) each will control 1 hour of debate on the 
bill.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
Sensenbrenner).


                             General Leave

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend 
their remarks and include extraneous materials on H.R. 1997 currently 
under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Wisconsin?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, on January 7, 18-year-old Ashley Lyons and her unborn 
son, Landon, were murdered in Scott County, Kentucky. Current Kentucky 
law regards this crime as having only a single victim. But Carol Lyons, 
Ashley's mother and Landon's grandmother, said, ``Nobody can tell me 
that there were not two victims. I placed Landon in his mother's arms, 
wrapped in a baby blanket that I had sewn for him, just before I kissed 
my daughter good-bye for the last time and closed the casket.'' We are 
here today to tell Carol Lyons she is right. There were two victims 
that day.
  The Kentucky legislature has recently acted to recognize Landon as a 
victim under Kentucky law, and Kentucky's Governor is going to sign 
that legislation. But today, Congress has yet to pass legislation 
recognizing unborn victims of violence under Federal law. The House has 
done so twice by large margins, but the Senate has failed to act.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act provides that if an unborn child 
is injured or killed during the commission of crimes of violence 
already defined under Federal law, prosecutors can bring two charges, 
one on behalf of the mother and the second on behalf of the unborn 
victim. Indeed, the House of Representatives in the 106th Congress, by 
a unanimous 417 to nothing vote, passed the Innocent Child Protection 
Act, a bill only two sentences long, that banned the Federal execution 
of a woman while she carries a ``child in utero.'' ``Child in utero'' 
is defined in that bill exactly, to the word, as it is in this bill, 
namely, as ``a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of 
development, who is carried in the womb.''
  Now, opponents of H.R. 1997 will argue that harm to an unborn victim 
should simply be considered an additional harm to the mother, not an 
independent harm to another human being. Yet, a vote for the Innocent 
Child Protection Act two Congresses ago cannot be defended on the 
grounds that executing a pregnant woman would cause her to suffer 
additional harm because there can be no additional harm exceeding the 
ultimate and final punishment of death. Since the only logical 
rationale for the support of the Innocent Child Protection Act was to 
prevent the killing of an innocent unborn child, H.R. 1997, which also 
recognizes unborn victims, should have similarly overwhelming 
bipartisan support. We shall see.
  The legislation before us now requires us to reflect on the goals and 
purposes of the criminal law. Ultimately, the criminal law is not a 
schedule of punishments. It is an expression of society's values. It is 
an expression of society's values. Anything less than the legislation 
before us today simply does not resonate with society's sense of 
justice. The tragic murders of Laci and Conner Peterson in California 
have drawn national attention to unborn victims and the American people 
have overwhelmingly responded with more than 80 percent support for 
bringing two separate charges against their murderer.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act protects the right of a mother to 
choose to bring her wanted and loved child to term, safe from the 
violent hands of criminals who would brutally deny her that right. This 
bill, however, has nothing to do with abortion. Let me repeat that. The 
bill has nothing to do with abortion. That fact could not be expressed 
more clearly in the legislation which explicitly excludes abortion-
related conduct. Further, the Supreme Court, in Webster v. Reproductive 
Health Services, has already refused to strike down Missouri's unborn 
victims of violence law, stating that it ``does not by its terms 
regulate abortion.'' Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1997, just like the Missouri law 
that the Supreme Court refused to strike down, does not by its terms 
regulate abortion and, indeed, H.R. 1997 includes provisions that 
specifically exclude abortion-related conduct.
  Both before and since the Webster decision, every single unborn 
victims law passed by State legislatures that has been challenged in 
court has been upheld. Anyone who claims this bill has anything to do 
with abortion and opposes it on those grounds is inviting this body to 
focus not on unborn child victims, but on red herrings.
  Tracy Marciniak, whose unborn child was murdered by her husband, has 
told Congress, ``Please don't tell me that my son was not a murder 
victim.'' The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, I hope, will pass this 
body overwhelmingly today if only each Member opens their eyes to the 
photo of the dead body of Tracy Marciniak's murdered child and opens 
their hearts to the mothers who have implored Congress to give their 
unborn babies the status they deserve under the criminal law. I urge my 
colleagues to do so by supporting this legislation before the House 
today.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time I will include for the Record two letters 
that the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter), chairman of the 
Committee on Armed Services, and I have exchanged regarding the two 
committees' jurisdictional claims on this legislation.
                                      Committee on Armed Services,


                                     House of Representatives,

                                 Washington, DC, February 9, 2004.
     Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.,
     Chairman, House Judiciary Committee, Rayburn HOB, Washington, 
         DC.
       Dear Chairman Sensenbrenner: I am writing to you concerning 
     the jurisdictional interest of the Committee on Armed 
     Services in matters being considered in H.R. 1997, the Unborn 
     Victims of Violence Act of 2003.
       I recognize the importance of H.R. 1997 and the need for 
     this legislation to move expeditiously. Therefore, at this 
     time I will waive further consideration of this bill by the 
     Committee on Armed Services. However, the Committee on Armed 
     Services asks that you support our request to be conferees on 
     the provisions over which we have jurisdiction during any 
     House-Senate conference. Additionally, I request that you 
     include this letter as part of your committee's report on 
     H.R. 1997.
       Thank you for your attention to this request.
       With best wishes.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Duncan Hunter,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                                   Committee on the Judiciary,

                                 Washington, DC, February 9, 2004.
     Hon. Duncan Hunter,
     Chairman, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. House of 
         Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Hunter: Thank you for your letter regarding 
     H.R. 1997, the ``Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2003.'' 
     H.R. 1997 was secondarily referred to the Committee on Armed 
     Services because section 3 of the bill relating to the 
     Uniform Code of Military Justice falls within its Rule X 
     jurisdiction. I appreciate your willingness to forgo 
     consideration of the bill.
       I acknowledge that by agreeing to waive its consideration 
     of the bill, the Committee on Armed Services does not waive 
     its jurisdiction over the bill or any of the matters under 
     your jurisdiction in Section 3.
       I will include a copy of your letter and this response in 
     our Committee's report on H.R. 1997 and the Congressional 
     Record during consideration of the legislation on the House 
     floor.

[[Page H640]]

       Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
           Sincerely,
                                      F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.,
                                                         Chairman.

  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the so-called Unborn Victims of 
Violence Act. Here we are again to consider a bill which has now, for 
three Congresses, unnecessarily mired what should be a laudable and 
uncontroversial effort to punish truly heinous crimes in the 
emotionally charged and legally suspect back allies of the abortion 
debate. This is regrettable, Mr. Speaker, because real people are 
suffering real harm, while this House has played abortion politics 
instead of acting to punish truly barbaric crimes.
  The issue today is straightforward: Is it or is it not necessary to 
enact a bill making a statement endorsing the controversial and legally 
revolutionary notion that a fetus is a legal person from the moment of 
conception in order to punish these criminals with the severity that 
they justly deserve?
  That is the heart of the issue. The proponents of this bill are 
taking what should be a straightforward issue and unnecessarily turning 
it into a controversial one.
  Why does this matter? Quite simply, because if the law recognizes 
that a fetus is a legal person from the moment of conception, as this 
bill would do, when it is a zygote, a blastocyst, an embryo, a simple 
collection of undifferentiated cells, then the law must recognize and 
protect the rights of that person on a legal basis with the rights of 
the adult pregnant woman. If our laws recognize that, then there can be 
no right to choose, because, logically, terminating a pregnancy even in 
its earliest stages would be killing a fully legal person.
  So when the proponents tell you that this is not about the right to 
choose, this is not about the right to have an abortion, remember that 
very simple and clear fact. And, remember that we have an alternative 
that is just as tough on these criminals: the Lofgren substitute. We do 
not have to choose between an assault on Roe v. Wade and permitting 
these heinous criminals to walk free.

                              {time}  1030

  That is a false choice, but I do not ask my colleagues to believe me. 
Take the proponents at their word.
  Senator Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, 
a sponsor of this bill in the other body, had this to say, ``They say 
it undermines abortion rights. It does, but that's irrelevant.'' CNN, 
May 7 last year.
  January 19 last year, Samuel B. Casey, executive director of the 
Christian Legal Society, told the Los Angeles Times, ``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,'' a judge, ``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.''
  May 19 last year, Dr. Joe Cook, vice president of the American 
Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, was quoted by 
the Associated Press as saying, ``We have to approach this in a way 
that's doable, a step at a time. This bill is aimed at establishing 
that a fetus in utero is a human being and has human rights.''
  So please do not insult our intelligence by saying this bill is not 
about abortion rights.
  The proper question is not whether we will recognize a separate or a 
new crime, but how we will do so. The Lofgren substitute recognizes a 
special kind of evil embodied in these crimes, but would recognize the 
assault on the fetus as a second crime against the pregnant woman, a 
second, separate crime, but against the pregnant woman, not against the 
fetus. The distinguished chairman of the Subcommittee on the 
Constitution criticized that point of view as the ``ideology of those 
who are unwilling to recognize the unborn child in the law.'' 
Precisely. That is the threat to Roe, and despite the disclaimers in 
the bill and the disclaimers of the distinguished chairman a few 
minutes ago, that is what we are talking about today.
  If a fetus is recognized as a legal person, then this bill would open 
the door to barring abortions, to prosecuting women or to restraining 
them physically for the sake of the fetus. Some courts and State 
governments have already experimented with this approach. The last time 
we had occasion to consider this bill, the Supreme Court had just 
struck down a practice in the then-sponsor's home State of South 
Carolina in which a hospital would give the result of pregnant women's 
blood tests to local law enforcement for the purpose of initiating 
legal action against those women who might take action that might in 
some way endanger the fetus. Once we recognize even a zygote, two 
cells, as having the same legal status as the pregnant woman, it would 
logically follow that her liberty could be restricted to protect its 
interests. The whole purpose of Roe is to say that her liberty 
interests trump the interests of the fetus. This bill says exactly the 
opposite.
  For those of us who are prochoice, the right to choose extends not 
just to a woman's right to have an abortion if she wants, but also to 
her right to carry a pregnancy to term if she wants and to deliver a 
healthy baby in safety. That is why we supported the Violence Against 
Women Act. That is why we support programs to provide proper prenatal 
care and nutrition to all women. That is why we support proper health 
and nutrition services after a birth. That is why we support other 
initiatives like the Family and Medical Leave Act. We do not believe 
that life begins at conception and ends at birth. We have an obligation 
to these children and to their parents both prenatally and postnatally.
  Let there be no mistake, using physical violence against a woman to 
prevent her from having a child that she wants is just as much an 
assault on the right to choose as is the use of violence against women 
who wish to exercise their constitutional right to choose to end their 
pregnancy. A woman, and only a woman, has the right to decide when and 
whether to bring a child into the world; not an abusive partner, not a 
fanatic, not even Congress.
  If we are serious about this problem, and the problem of domestic 
violence against pregnant women, we have effective remedies at our 
disposal. If we want to play abortion politics, we have an appropriate 
vehicle, this bill, before us for that purpose.
  Violence against a pregnant woman deserves strong preventive measures 
and stiff punishment. According to the Journal of the American Medical 
Association, homicides during pregnancy, and in the year following 
birth, are the leading pregnancy-related death among women in the 
United States. Among nonpregnant women, it is the fifth leading cause 
of death.
  Mr. Speaker, it is a disgrace that while these preventable crimes 
continue to occur, Congress fiddles with largely symbolic legislation 
designed to interfere with the right to choose rather than taking 
affirmative steps to deal with this real problem. Why does this 
Republican-controlled Congress and White House continually refuse to 
fund fully and adequately the Violence Against Women Act? It appears 
that many of the Members who have signed on to this bill are the same 
ones who voted to divert funds from protecting women from violence to 
protecting stock dividends from taxation.
  We owe it to these victims to enact strong penalties, ones which are 
not constitutionally suspect, to end these heinous crimes. I urge that 
we adopt the Lofgren substitute to make an assault that harms a fetus a 
second crime with just as severe or more severe penalties as with this 
bill, but a second crime against the women so as to not to get into the 
question of rights of the person to full personhood, which is, of 
course, the purpose of this bill, but would undermine Roe v. Wade, 
despite the disingenuous disclaimer of some of the other people on the 
other side. Let us not crowd the issue of fighting domestic violence, 
of fighting violence against women and pregnant women, by plunging a 
legitimate law enforcement effort into the murky waters of the abortion 
debate.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes to make 3 
points.

[[Page H641]]

  Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from New York seems to imply that this 
bill has to do with tax cuts and appropriation levels. It does not. It 
has to do with the criminal law, and as an aside, the criminal law is 
an expression of the sense of values of the legislative body that puts 
the criminal law on the books.
  Secondly, the gentleman from New York seems to think that we are 
plowing new ground in making a definition of what a child in utero is 
and giving the child in utero the protections that are contained in 
this bill. That is a settled issue, and on July 25, 2000, with the 
gentleman from New York's support, we passed the Protection of Innocent 
Children Act which defined a child in utero as meaning a member of the 
species Homo sapiens at any stage in development who is carried in the 
womb, and that means a two-cell zygote.
  Thirdly, the gentleman from New York seems to want to interject the 
abortion debate in this bill. That is not the case at all, and I would 
refer him to page 7 of the bill as reported that says nothing in this 
section shall be construed to permit the prosecution of any person for 
conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant 
woman or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf has been 
obtained or for which such consent is implied by law.
  So what we are dealing with here is wanted children, children that 
the mother has every intention of bringing to term to have, to give 
birth and to give that child a nurturing and loving household and a 
nurturing and loving upbringing. These are the children that we wish to 
provide protection for under this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Chabot), who is the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution.
  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the 
time, and I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) for 
his leadership on this issue. I also want to commend and thank the 
gentlewoman from Pennsylvania (Ms. Hart), the principal sponsor of this 
bill, for her leadership.
  Sadly, recent studies in Maryland, North Carolina and New York City 
and Illinois indicate that homicide is the leading cause of death of 
pregnant women in those parts of the country. Those homicides are often 
inspired by the desire to kill a woman's unborn child. Yet due to gaps 
in the Federal criminal law, an unborn child can be killed or injured 
during the commission of a violent Federal crime without any legal 
consequences.
  These gaps are appalling to the American people. Recent polls have 
shown that upwards of 80 percent of registered voters, including 69 
percent of voters who consider themselves to be prochoice, believe that 
prosecutors should be able to separately charge the violent attacker of 
a pregnant woman that kills her unborn child. Yet today, for example, 
if a man stalks his pregnant wife across State lines and attacks her, 
injuring her but killing the unborn child, that man could not be 
prosecuted under Federal law for the loss of the baby's life.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act fills this glaring gap in Federal 
law with a simple expression of basic understanding, namely, that the 
loss of an unborn child to an act of violence deserves separate 
recognition under Federal law. This bill provides that if an unborn 
child is injured or killed during the commission of crimes of violence 
already defined under Federal law, prosecutors can bring two charges, 
one on behalf of the mother, the other on behalf of the unborn victim.
  H.R. 1997 recognizes that the loss of an unborn child at any stage of 
development is a unique and separate loss both to society and to the 
mother who carried and loved that child. This bill, for the first time 
under Federal law, treats an unborn victim of violence as something 
more than a torn spleen or a bruised appendix or other physical 
injuries incurred during the course of a violent attack that might 
warrant enhanced penalties but not separate charges under Federal law 
now. H.R. 1997 treats such unborn victims with the respect and dignity 
under the law that their loving mothers and the American people 
rightfully demand for them.
  We must all ask ourselves, is an injury to an unborn child the same 
thing as a broken bone? If the answer is no, as I think we all know 
that it is, then the only appropriate response is to treat harm to an 
unborn victim as a distinct and separate offense under Federal law.
  This legislation has been called merely symbolic by its opponents, 
but I wonder how many women in America would view the loss of their 
unborn child through violent means as merely symbolic. Certainly not 
Tracy Marciniak, whose unborn child was murdered by her husband. She 
told the Subcommittee on the Constitution, referring to the substitute 
amendment which we will be dealing with later, ``Please don't tell me 
that my son was not a real murder victim,'' and, ``Please remember 
Zachariah's name and face'' when you vote on a substitute amendment 
that refuses to allow a separate charge for the killing of a wanted, 
unborn child.
  Shiwona Pace, whose unborn child Heaven Sashay was brutally murdered 
by three hired hitmen, has also testified that, ``It seems to me that 
any Congressman who votes for the `one-victim' amendment,'' in other 
words, the substitute, ``is really saying that nobody died that night. 
And that is a lie.''
  Indeed, because unborn victims are distinct victims, the Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act is also referred to as Laci and Conner's Law, 
for Laci and Conner Peterson, two recent victims of terrible violence.
  Opponents of the legislation before us today claim it will open the 
door to all manner of terrible imagined future legislation, but the 
only door this legislation opens is the door to a distinct room in the 
edifice of the Federal Code in which unborn victims of violence can be 
granted the distinct respect they are owed. Just as expecting mothers 
reserve space in their home for wanted and loved unborn children, we in 
Congress should reserve for unborn victims of violence a distinct place 
under the protective shield of criminal law by providing for a separate 
offense when they are violently killed or injured. The American people 
consider the murder of an unborn child distinctly offensive, and they 
demand that the murder of an unborn child be a distinct offense under 
Federal law, and I urge its passage.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the distinguished chairman said a moment ago that in the 
Innocent Child Protection Act of 2000 we made settled law the 
personhood of the fetus. It is not correct. In the Innocent Child 
Protection Act of 2000, we simply said that a pregnant woman could not 
be executed, and we defined a pregnant woman as someone who had a child 
in utero, and then defined, as the chairman said, the words ``child in 
utero.''
  It is not what we are talking about here. For the purpose of saying 
you cannot execute a pregnant woman, we have defined what a pregnant 
woman means. That is all that bill did.
  This bill seeks to establish a fetus as a separate legal person by 
giving it separate legal rights in order transparently to make it a 
separate legal person within the meaning of the 14th amendment that 
says no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without 
due process of law. That is exactly the opposite of what the Supreme 
Court said when it said we have never held a fetus to be a person in 
the full meaning of the term. This bill is an attempt to whittle away 
at that term.
  The distinguished chairman of the subcommittee says we have to 
acknowledge the particularly heinous nature of the crime, and indeed, 
we do. The Lofgren substitute acknowledges the assault on the fetus as 
a separate crime to be separately punished, to be additionally 
punished, but a separate crime against the woman because her interest 
in carrying that pregnancy to term and bearing a healthy baby is 
assaulted.

                              {time}  1045

  It does not recognize it as a separate crime against a separate 
person, which is the object of this bill and what we are debating, and 
which is why this bill, despite the disclaimers of the proponents, is a 
direct assault on Roe v. Wade, a direct assault on abortion, and if all 
they are interested in is to make a separate crime when you assault a

[[Page H642]]

fetus, when you harm a fetus, then the Lofgren substitute is perfectly 
adequate for that. But their aim is to damage the right to choose, and 
that is the real purpose of this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. 
Lowey).
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this terribly 
misguided bill. The bill before us today would give a fetus the same 
recognition as you or I for the first time in Federal law. Let me make 
something perfectly clear. The loss of a pregnancy under any 
circumstances is absolutely devastating to a woman and her family. 
Those who injure or kill a pregnant woman should be severely punished, 
and families should have the legal tools to have their loss recognized.
  Instead of addressing the real issue at hand, the horrible pain for a 
woman who loses a pregnancy to an act of violence, this bill sends a 
message that women do not deserve to be safeguarded or valued in their 
own right; that it is only through their fetuses that they are entitled 
to any Federal protections against violence. This, in my judgment, is 
the wrong approach. Of course the woman matters. She matters when the 
baby is conceived, she matters when the baby is developing in utero, 
and she matters when the child arrives in the world; yet this bill does 
not make it a Federal crime to attack a pregnant woman. In fact, its 
sponsors have explicitly rejected amendments to protect a woman herself 
under Federal law.
  The Lofgren substitute would do just that. It would severely punish 
crimes against pregnant women without undermining Roe v. Wade. It gets 
us to the same ends without the overtly political means.
  If my colleagues want to crack down on criminals who attack pregnant 
women, support the Lofgren substitute. If my colleagues want to protect 
women from violence, let us fully fund the Violence Against Women Act.
  Finally, if my colleagues are serious about protecting the unborn, 
let us focus on giving babies the best start we can by promoting the 
health of women throughout the entire pregnancy.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act is not about shielding pregnant 
women or fetuses from violent acts, it is and has always about been 
undermining freedom of choice. Instead of finding new ways to revisit 
the divisive abortion battle, I believe Americans want us to focus our 
efforts on ways of providing women with access to prenatal care, 
affordable contraception, health care and violence prevention.
  If we truly want to protect women and their pregnancies from harm, 
let us work together to enact legislation that deters and punishes 
violence against women without unnecessarily engaging in the abortion 
debate.
  I urge my colleagues to vote no on H.R. 1997 and to support the 
Lofgren substitute.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Pennsylvania (Ms. Hart), the principal author of the bill.
  (Ms. HART asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. HART. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
Sensenbrenner) and my subcommittee chairman, the gentleman from Ohio 
(Mr. Chabot), for their hard work on this issue throughout the time I 
have spent in Congress over the last 3 years and throughout the time I 
have been the principal sponsor of this legislation. They do have women 
and families in mind, as I do and as the supporters of this bill do.
  It is interesting rhetoric when it is claimed that prosecution of a 
crime against a woman or an allegation against a perpetrator of a crime 
against a woman is not happening. It is already against the law to 
attack a woman and cause her injury or death. That should not be a 
surprise to any of us. It is not, however, on the Federal level a crime 
to attack a woman and cause injury or death to the unborn child as a 
separate crime.
  There are two victims in these kinds of crimes. That is so clear from 
the Laci and Conner Peterson case. The family came to visit us and 
asked that we name this bill after Laci and Conner Peterson in 
remembrance of them. That family showed us what the real loss is. They 
have lost a daughter, Laci Peterson, and their grandson Conner. That 
cannot be restored by enhancing the penalty for the attack against Laci 
Peterson. It cannot be restored at all; but the least we can do as 
lawmakers is recognize the loss to the family. It is shocking to me 
that anyone would support a substitute to the legislation that 
recognizes what families who have gone through this tragedy have asked 
us to do.
  Studies have shown, unfortunately, that domestic violence against 
pregnant women is prevalent, that fully one-quarter of women who are 
pregnant who die are victims of homicide. These families are crushed 
when this happens. They lose the woman, and they lose the hope of the 
child for the future.
  This bill is all about recognition of a family's loss. It is about 
prosecution of a terrible crime. This bill is about making sure that we 
recognize what is really happening in these kinds of crimes. Numerous 
reports show us that the motivation behind a crime against many of 
these pregnant women is the fact that she is pregnant, the fact that 
she has chosen to carry a child makes someone angry, and it makes 
someone angry enough to attack her and her unborn child.
  Mr. Speaker, we recognize unborn children with inheritance rights. 
This Congress recognized unborn children enough to prevent the 
execution of a pregnant woman in prison. It is about time we recognize 
for that family who has suffered a grave loss a crime against that 
woman and her unborn child with a two-victim bill such as this. I 
encourage my colleagues to support H.R. 1997.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky).
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me 
this time.
  It is actually insulting and certainly annoying that there is some 
sort of accusation that those of us who think that the substitute is 
preferable do not care about women and do not care about the babies 
that they are carrying. As a mother, as a grandmother of four children, 
we have to recognize this bill for what it is. If we want to go after 
protecting pregnant women, we ought to go after protecting pregnant 
women, not about threatening to take away their right to choose, which 
this is a thinly veiled effort to do because we are trying to create a 
special status of human being, of a fetus, of an unborn child. While I 
kind of admire the strategy, it does not get to the heart of this 
issue.
  The proponents say we have to have this bill to protect pregnant 
women from violence, but the truth is this bill does not even address 
crimes committed against the woman at all, it only addresses the new 
crime created in this bill, which is a crime against a zygote, an 
embryo, a fetus. Furthermore, this bill would not even apply to the 
tragic Laci Peterson, as we understand the facts of the case, and as is 
true in the vast majority of domestic violence cases. Those crimes are 
covered by State law and not Federal law.
  H.R. 1997 only touches on few and rare instances when pregnant women 
could be harmed by someone committing a Federal crime. The undisputed 
aim of this bill is to move forward a calculated antichoice agenda in 
which embryos and fetuses are codified into law as humans with all of 
the human rights afforded people in our society. This would bring us 
one step closer to overturning Roe v. Wade and taking away a woman's 
constitutional right to choose.
  Instead, if we truly care about protecting pregnant women from 
violence and creating stiffer penalties for those who harm pregnant 
women, we should pass the substitute to this bill, known as the 
Motherhood Protection Act. The substitute recognizes that the pregnant 
woman is a victim when she is assaulted, instead of making the fetus 
distinct and separate from the woman, which anybody who is pregnant or 
has been pregnant knows is really not when you are carrying that child. 
The substitute classifies assault against her and assault on her 
pregnancy as two crimes, both crimes against the woman. Unlike H.R. 
1997, the substitute gets to the heart of the matter: protecting 
pregnant women from violence.

[[Page H643]]

  I urge my colleagues to vote no on H.R. 1997 and yes on the 
substitute amendment.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. King).
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) yielding me this time, and I profoundly 
appreciate the work of the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania (Ms. Hart) on 
this issue, as well as the work of the chairman and the subcommittee 
chairman, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot).
  I urge Members to vote against the Lofgren substitute amendment. At 
issue today is whether there is one victim or two. When a pregnant 
woman is murdered, there are two victims. When a pregnant woman is 
injured and her baby dies, the law must recognize that and punish her 
violent attacker.
  Pregnant women deserve the full protection of our laws. When Laci 
Peterson and Conner Peterson were killed, there were two victims. This 
substitute treats Laci's child as if he never existed. Conner did 
exist. Laci and her family were looking forward to his birth. If we 
allow Federal law to recognize only one victim, we are guilty of 
covering up for the criminal who robs an expectant mother and in other 
cases the father and the rest of the family of their baby. Grieving 
family members need to know that criminals will pay the full price for 
killing their son or daughter and that society recognizes their loss. 
No woman should ever be told she has lost nothing when she loses her 
unborn child to a brutal attacker. Women deserve better than this. We 
should recognize her injury, and we should pursue justice.
  Roe v. Wade may, and I pray temporarily, provide for a woman to 
decide temporarily the fate of her unborn child, but this does not 
affect the Roe v. Wade decision. What we are proposing is someone else 
stepping into the shoes of the mother. I urge Members to vote for Laci 
and Conner's law, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and I thank the 
sponsors of this bill, the chairman of the committee, and the folks who 
have worked so hard.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Iowa just hit the nail on the head. 
He said the purpose of this bill is to recognize that there are two 
victims, two people involved in this. That is exactly the point of this 
bill, and that is exactly why we should not pass this bill without the 
Lofgren substitute. I am glad the previous speaker and some of the 
other speakers on the other side stripped away the false rhetoric on 
this bill. This bill is not about punishing an assault on a fetus 
separately; the substitute as well as the bill does that. This is not 
about giving it an additional punishment; the substitute as well as the 
bill does that.
  This is about saying that there are two victims, not one victim; that 
the fetus or the embryo or the zygote, depending on the status of the 
pregnancy, is a separate legal person. That is the point of the bill. 
That is why we must have the substitute, why we cannot agree to the 
bill, because the whole point of the bill is to establish legally 
separate fetal personhood, which would undermine the entire rationale 
of Roe v. Wade and undermine a woman's right to choose, because if a 
fetus is a separate legal person, how can she choose to terminate the 
pregnancy?
  This is revolutionary notion going way back to Biblical law. If we 
look at the original Five Books of Moses, it says very plainly if you 
assault a woman and she dies, you should be put to death. And if you 
assault a woman and she miscarries, you shall pay her monetary 
compensation. In other words, by killing the fetus, you have damaged an 
interest of the woman for which she is due compensation, but you have 
not committed murder as you have if you kill the born person, the 
woman.
  So we have never in our history recognized a fetus as a separate 
legal person. The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade specifically says we 
have never recognized a fetus as a separate person.

                              {time}  1100

  If we were to do so, then we would get into the 14th amendment 
question that you cannot deprive a person of life, or liberty or 
process, without due process of law; and that is the purpose of this 
bill. That is the purpose of similar bills in the State legislatures, I 
suspect, to give underpinning to a future Supreme Court majority to say 
that we recognize a fetus as a person within the meaning of the 14th 
amendment and, therefore, abortion is murder and, therefore, Roe v. 
Wade is overruled and, therefore, States have no right to legalize 
murder and you would need a constitutional amendment to permit 
abortions in this country.
  That is the real point of this bill. And strip away all the 
disingenuous rhetoric about everything else, because everything else we 
agree on. We agree that there ought to be an additional penalty if you 
harm the fetus when you assault a woman. We agree that it should be a 
separate additional crime. The only question here between the bill and 
the substitute is should the separate additional crime for harming the 
fetus be a crime against the woman as we say, an additional separate 
crime against a woman deserving an additional separate penalty? Or 
should it be an additional crime against a second person, the fetus 
being recognized as a person?
  That is the issue in this bill and this substitute. To say that it is 
not and to quarry the abortion debate is quite simply disingenuous. 
That is why the bill was introduced. That is why they are pushing it. 
It is why we are opposing it.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.
  Mr. Speaker, let us get back to the Innocent Child Protection Act, 
which passed the House unanimously on July 25, 2000. The purpose of 
that bill, which is law today, was to prevent the killing of a child in 
utero because of the mother's crimes causing the death penalty to be 
imposed. There the legislation, again which was signed into law, 
defined the child in utero as a human being at any stage of development 
who is carried in the womb. So that we decided and we made law 3\1/2\ 
years ago when the Innocent Child Protection Act was passed.
  I would note that the three Members on the other side of the aisle 
who have spoken against the current bill all voted in favor of the 
Innocent Child Protection Act and the definition that I have just 
repeated for, I believe, the third time.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Gingrey).
  Mr. GINGREY. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.
  Mr. Speaker, I commend the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania, and I rise 
in strong support of H.R. 1997, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and 
in strong opposition to the single-victim substitute.
  Let me take my time to try to put a little face on this issue and a 
human perspective. I want to call my colleagues' attention to the 
poster to my left. This is a picture of my grandchildren. My 
granddaughters, Ali and Hannah, are now 6 years old. They were born at 
26 weeks, each weighing 1 pound 12 ounces. Thank God their brother, 
little Hank, who is 3 years old, has two precious siblings. My daughter 
and son-in-law have three precious children. My wife, Billie, and I are 
very proud grandparents.
  As a physician, I know that Laci Peterson at 8\1/2\ months pregnant, 
little Conner probably weighed three times as much as my granddaughters 
did at their birth, weighing 1 pound 12 ounces. A strategically 
directed blow to her abdomen, or any woman's abdomen, at 8 months 
pregnant could result in just a minor bruise, a contusion to the 
mother, yet the death of the child, a child that within weeks would 
have been born fully well.
  Yet in this substitute amendment, what would happen? Instead of the 
perpetrator of this crime getting slapped on the wrist, they would get 
slapped on both wrists. Yet that child would be dead, and that family 
would be robbed of a life. I think it is utterly ridiculous.
  They keep saying that we do not care about the mother. There are laws 
to protect the mother against violence that exist, but we have got 
another victim in these crimes and this puts a human face on it. I ask 
my colleagues to reject the substitute amendment and support the bill, 
H.R. 1997.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

[[Page H644]]

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Stearns).
  Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Unborn Victims of 
Violence Act. I thank the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania for her 
leadership on this important issue.
  Poll after poll show that the vast majority of Americans believe that 
if someone attacks or murders a pregnant woman and kills her unborn 
child, then the criminal should be charged with two separate crimes. 
Sixty-nine percent of registered voters who call themselves pro-choice 
also agree that violent thugs should be charged with two offenses if 
they kill a woman's unborn child during the commission of a brutal 
crime.
  The widespread support by the American people is reflected here in 
the House of Representatives where we have passed this legislation 
twice before, each time by impressive margins, and each time with both 
parties working together. As of today, 29 State legislatures have 
overwhelmingly passed their own laws recognizing two victims in a 
violent crime against a pregnant woman. This number is growing with 
each passing day.
  I would like to read to my colleague from the Old Testament. He 
mentioned that. Exodus 21:22-23. I could also go to the Talmud. It is 
also observed in the Talmud the same thing that is in the Old 
Testament, namely, ``If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so 
that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be 
surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; 
and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any mischief follow, 
then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand 
for hand, foot for foot.''
  I think it is clear that if the mischief includes the death of the 
embryo, of the live human being in the womb, then it is eye for eye, 
tooth for tooth. I urge the passage of this bill.


                             I. Introduction

   Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the ``Unborn Victims of 
Violence Act.''


                 II. Broad Public Support of H.R. 1997

   It's always satisfying when we get to debate and vote on legislation 
that has such broad, bipartisan support across the country.
   How broad is this support? Poll after poll show that the vast 
majority of Americans believe that if someone attacks or murders a 
pregnant woman, and kills her unborn child, then that criminal should 
be charged with two separate crimes.
   How bipartisan is that support? 69% of registered voters who call 
themselves ``pro-choice'' also agree that violent thugs should be 
charged with two offenses if they kill a woman's unborn child during 
the commission of a brutal crime.
   This widespread support by the American people has been reflected 
here in the House of Representatives, where we have passed this 
legislation twice before, each time by impressive margins, and each 
time with both parties working together.
   And as of today, 29 state legislatures have overwhelmingly passed 
their own laws recognizing two victims in a violent crime against a 
pregnant woman.
   This number is growing with each passing day.


              III. Legal and Academic Support for H.R. 1997

   In the academic and legal world, there is a consensus that these 
efforts will strengthen our criminal justice system, and agreement that 
this legislation is perfectly constitutional.
   In terms of our criminal justice system, it's clear that this law 
will serve as a deterrent to future attacks on women of childbearing 
age.
   This is important because in Maryland, New York and Illinois, 
homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women.
   According to a recent study, up to 324,000 pregnant women will 
experience physical violence in the United States this year.
  If we join those 29 states in enacting this legislation, we are 
telling potential attackers that they will face two times the 
punishment for hurting a pregnant woman.
  Would-be attackers need to know that they could be charged with the 
murder of an unborn child if they attack his mother.
  By creating legal consequences for killing an unborn against her 
mother's will, the law will provide greater protection for women from 
crimes of violence.
  Indeed, in 1990, the Supreme Court of Minnesota said, in upholding 
the conviction of a man with two counts of murder, that ``The 
possibility that a female homicide victim of child-bearing age may be 
pregnant is a possibility that an assaulter may not safely exclude.''
  From an academic point of view, scholars are in agreement that laws 
protecting unborn children from violence are constitutional.
  The U.S. Supreme Court refused to strike down Missouri's unborn 
victims of violence law because it ``does not by its terms regulate 
abortion.''
  Every single unborn victims law passed by state legislatures that has 
been challenged in court has been upheld.
  A large number of pro-choice scholars concede that this bill will not 
infringe upon anyone's rights.


                 IV. Moral Reasons to Support H.R. 1997

  Not only does this legislation make sense from a legal point of view, 
it's also compassionate.
  It's compassionate because we are saying to these women and their 
families, ``You have intrinsic worth, and your unborn baby's life had 
meaning, too.''
  No woman should ever be told she lost nothing when she loses her 
child to a brutal attacker. Women deserve better than this.
  Even the Bible has something to say about violence against pregnant 
women. Exodus 21:21-23 tells how if a woman is harmed and her baby is 
uninjured, then the punishment is only for what happened to the woman. 
But if a woman is harmed and her unborn child subsequently dies, then 
the attacker ``shalt give life for life.''


                               Conclusion

  As I've said, it's good when we get to take up an issue on which the 
vast majority of Americans agree.
  But what's most important is that what we are doing today is the 
right thing to do.
  It's time to make the law apply to federal jurisdiction, so that if a 
man stalks his pregnant wife across state lines and attacks her, or 
commits any other federal crime, injuring her and killing their unborn 
child, that man can be prosecuted under federal law for the loss of the 
baby's life.
  Passage of ``Laci and Conner's'' law is a win-win situation on every 
level--for the American people, for our criminal justice and legal 
systems, and for the protection of pregnant women and their unborn 
children.
  The only losers with this bill are the cowardly criminals who would 
dare attack a pregnant woman. They'll be getting what they deserve.
  Mr. Speaker, it's time to do the right thing and pass the Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Florida mentions various polling data 
that large majorities of people who are polled say that someone who 
attacks the woman and harms the fetus, that there are two separate 
crimes here. There is no dispute on that point. We agree with that. 
There are two separate crimes. The substitute as well as the bill in 
chief make it two separate crimes. That is not at issue. What is at 
issue is who is the victim. The substitute says it is a separate crime 
against the woman. Two crimes, two punishments for separate crimes 
against the same victim. The bill says two victims. That is the 
distinction here. Are there two crimes? Yes, we say. Yes, they say. Are 
there two victims? Yes, they say from a legal point of view. No, we 
say, she is the victim of a second crime because the law does not 
recognize the fetus as a full person.
  That is what this bill seeks to do. So it is not a question of two 
separate slaps on the wrist. We ought to punish the crime severely. The 
substitute punishes the crime as severely, in some cases more severely 
than does the bill. The question is do you recognize one victim or two 
victims, because there are legal consequences, there are juridical 
consequences, there are consequences of undermining Roe v. Wade and the 
right to choose based on whether you say this fetus is a person for 
legal purposes or simply that you say the woman is a victim twice and 
we will punish it appropriately. That is the question, not whether 
there are two crimes.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Kentucky (Mr. Lewis).
  Mr. LEWIS of Kentucky. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my 
support for H.R. 1997 and to oppose any substitute that would nullify 
its intent.
  H.R. 1997 protects unborn children whose mothers are physically 
assaulted or killed in the commission of a Federal crime. The majority 
of States currently recognize prenatal injury or death resulting from 
violence inflicted on the mother as a crime against two victims. H.R. 
1997 allows the Federal Government to similarly recognize this dual 
crime when it occurs within their jurisdiction and prosecute 
accordingly.
  On January 7 of this year, 18-year-old Ashley Lyons and her unborn 
son,

[[Page H645]]

Landon, were murdered in Scott County, Kentucky. Carol Lyons, Ashley's 
mother and Landon's grandmother said, ``Nobody can tell me that there 
were not two victims. I placed Landon in his mother's arms, wrapped in 
a baby blanket that I had sewn for him, just before I kissed my 
daughter good-bye for the last time and closed the casket.''
  Mr. Speaker, 3 weeks ago, the Kentucky State House correctly approved 
legislation to redress single victim prosecution. I urge my colleagues 
in this Federal body in the name of unborn victims like Landon Lyons to 
protect unborn victims of violence by voting in favor of this bill.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Garrett).
  Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in full support 
of H.R. 1997, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. I commend those who 
have come before me in previous years for their work, and I commend the 
gentlewoman from Pennsylvania for her work now in bringing this issue 
to the floor.
  Violence against a woman who is pregnant with an unborn child is a 
hideous and tragic act that must be punished accordingly. To my left 
here is a photograph, this is the first time I have seen this 
photograph recently, of Tracy Marciniak and her little baby. I would 
challenge anyone who knows the story, that she was beaten, she survived 
the beating but her little baby did not. I would challenge anyone from 
the other side of the aisle who would look at this photograph and say 
that this is a fetus in her arms. No, I would say this is her baby in 
her arms. And when a baby, born or unborn, is taken away from her 
mother, the offender must be punished.
  This is commonsense legislation. Once it is passed, it will work to 
deter violence against women and their unborn children as well. As has 
been stated by other people already, one of the leading causes of 
violence and death to women in many States is in fact homicide of 
pregnant women.
  I would urge all Members of good faith on both sides of the aisle to 
do what is right for society, right for women, and right for the 
innocent victims in this Nation and vote in favor of this legislation.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Indiana (Mr. Pence), a member of the committee.
  (Mr. PENCE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for the opportunity to 
speak in strong support of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. As a 
member of the Committee on the Judiciary, there are many times that we 
deal with issues that are along the fault lines of the cultural debate; 
and I am a pro-life Member of Congress, and I do not apologize for 
that. But I rise today in support of what has come to be known as Laci 
and Conner's Law to say from my heart that this is not about abortion. 
This is not about the thorny issues that surround the debate over a 
woman's right to choose or the right to life; but, rather, this is 
simply a law about justice.
  The reality is that fetal homicide laws, which is a characterization 
of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, are already the law in 29 States 
in the United States of America. And what Congress seeks to do today, 
with the strong leadership of the chairman of the committee and the 
authorship of the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania, is, in effect, to have 
Federal law catch up with those 29 State laws.

                              {time}  1115

  That this is not about abortion is specifically stated in the law 
itself that provides that it does not apply to any abortion to which a 
woman has consented to any act of a mother herself, legal or illegal, 
or to any form of medical treatment. It is not about abortion or a 
cultural debate. It is about justice.
  And with regard to those who would argue for the view that when a 
woman is attacked and both she and her unborn child are injured that 
there is only one victim, I close citing the words of the mother of 
Laci Peterson and the grandmother of Conner Peterson, who speaks more 
eloquently and more powerfully than any of us can here today:
  ``I hope that every legislator will clearly understand that adoption 
of such a single-victim amendment would be a painful blow to those, 
like me, who are left alive after a two-victim crime, because Congress 
would be saying that Conner and other innocent unborn victims like him 
are not really victims, indeed, that they never really existed at all. 
But our grandson did live. He had a name, he was loved, and his life 
was violently taken from him before he ever saw the sun.''
  I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time, and I strongly 
support the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the 
distinguished gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished 
gentleman from New York for yielding me this time, and I respect 
greatly my colleagues on a very tough and emotional debate.
  Yesterday, I rose on the floor of the House to indicate that I do not 
think one will find any division, any schism in this House on the value 
and the need for the protection of all Americans, all of us within the 
boundaries of this Nation against violent and horrific acts. And 
certainly the murder and the violent assault and action that would 
injure anyone in this country deserves the full force of the law, and I 
stand here today supporting that concept. So I would argue vigorously 
that if one does the crime, they need to pay the time.
  It is interesting that we come to the floor today just a few days shy 
of the tragedy of the Peterson family and the beginning of that trial 
in California. So it would seem that we urgently need to move forward 
because of that tragedy. It is interesting to note that as that trial 
is proceeding, those prosecutors feel fully confident of their case, as 
I am sure the defense of theirs, but they are moving forward to protect 
the victims of that tragic crime. So it begs the question as today as 
to why this body would choose to ignore and reject standing law that 
has allowed a woman to choose now for more than 2 decades under the Roe 
v. Wade case and why under H.R. 1997 it is now represented as a 
necessary legislative act to protect a pregnant woman. I cannot imagine 
why the substitute that we have now crafted, the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Lofgren) so studiously designed, that in actuality 
creates a separate Federal criminal offense for assaulting a pregnant 
woman resulting in injury or termination of a pregnancy without 
entangling the issue in the question of choice.
  We have come to this floor on many occasions in a side-winding way to 
undermine the law of this law. One may not agree with Roe v. Wade, but 
the determination is that a woman now in this Nation has the right to 
choose on the basis with her engagement with her family, engagement 
with her spiritual leader, and her personal needs. We are responsible 
for abiding by the law, and for my colleagues who continue to chip away 
at the rights of physicians to make a determination on a woman's health 
when it is necessary to abort a fetus so that that woman can be 
preserved to recreate again, here we go again with an attempt now to 
suggest that an unborn child or fetus is not protected when a tragedy 
occurs by the laws of this land.
  We have an alternative. We have a substitute that creates a separate 
offense so that we do not criminalize the doctor or the mother when 
there is a need and a necessity to choose to terminate a pregnancy.
  Why do we go over this over and over again? Where is the respect for 
women who have asked to make an independent choice? Those who choose 
not to abort, we respect that decision. Those who for personal reasons 
make the choice, the law stands on their side. And I will not come to 
this floor to participate in frivolity, and it does not make sense that 
we would come to the floor of the House and suggest not only to our 
colleagues but to the American people that there is no relief when 
there is an attack on a woman that is pregnant.
  For in this bill, H.R. 1997, it is clearly focused at criminalizing 
the acts of

[[Page H646]]

women if they decide to choose to terminate a pregnancy. And why do I 
say that? Because what the bill does is it recognizes a member of the 
species homo sapiens at all stages of development as a victim of crime 
from conception to birth. This attempts to afford a fetus, embryo, and 
even a fertilized egg rights and interests separate from and equal to 
those of the woman. There is no recognition of the crime against the 
woman.
  So, Mr. Speaker, this is what our angst is with this 
misrepresentation. This is not to ensure that a pregnant woman who 
would be violently attacked and may lose her life and that of the child 
that she may be carrying be protected, but it is to suggest that one 
may do anything that may be a violent act against that particular 
embryo that that woman is carrying, and that means that it is 
subjecting a woman to possible criminal acts for a choice that she may 
make, one to save her life or to provide for her health.
  This substitute that we are promoting tells the real truth, and the 
real truth is that we can provide a separate offense to protect against 
that terrible and heinous act for assaulting a pregnant woman resulting 
in an injury or termination and we can create an offense that protects 
pregnant woman and punishes violence resulting in injury or 
terminations of a pregnancy without conflicting with the core 
principles of Roe v. Wade.
  I only ask my colleagues that there are few occasions where we may 
seek reason and there are few occasions where we might understand that 
we are not here for ourselves, but for the people we represent. The law 
of the land is Roe v. Wade. I will join any Member to protect against 
violence of pregnant women; but I cannot stand here while legislation 
goes through this House, and, unfortunately, it may pass today, that in 
any way disregards the standing law of the land and represents to the 
American people that we have no other alternatives but to undermine Roe 
v. Wade. A woman has a right to choose or choose not. It is not my 
intention to promote any position other than to say that this body must 
follow the law.
  I ask my colleagues to oppose this particular legislation, the 
underlying legislation of H.R. 1997, and support the Lofgren 
substitute; and I ask most of all that we abide by the Constitution and 
respect the laws of this land so that the American people can know the 
truth and that women in this Nation can truly be protected.
  Mr. Speaker, I am saddened to be here today, to once again stand up 
for the pro-choice movement and deflect efforts made to undermine it. 
This is not the first time we have visited this issue, and I fear it 
will not be the last.
  Violence against women, especially pregnant women, is unacceptable 
and should be punished. I, along with the pro-choice community, are 
dedicated to preserving a woman's right to have a family when she 
chooses--and any criminal act that robs her of a hoped-for future child 
is tragic and intolerable. Rather than supporting such common-sense 
measures, my colleagues are instead promoting the Unborn Victims of 
Violence Act (UVVA), described as ``a sneak attack on a woman's right 
to choose.'' The loss of a wanted pregnancy is a tragedy, but solutions 
should be real, not political.


                             what uvva does

  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act erodes the legal foundation of a 
woman's right to choose by elevating the legal status of all stages of 
prenatal development. If enacted, the legislation would be the first 
Federal law to recognize a fertilized egg, embryo, or a fetus as a 
person who can be an independent victim of a crime. Our Supreme Court 
has held in Roe versus Wade that fetuses are not persons within the 
meaning of the fourteenth amendment. Nowhere in this legislation is the 
harm to the woman resulting from an involuntary termination of her 
pregnancy mentioned. In fact, the pregnant woman is not mentioned at 
all.
  We have States laws that already address crimes committed against 
pregnant women. The majority of States have statutes on the books that 
address criminal conduct that results in harm to a pregnancy. Many 
States punish murder or manslaughter of an ``unborn child,'' as that 
term is defined by the State law. Some States punish assault, battery, 
or other harm resulting in injury or death to an ``unborn child,'' as 
that term is defined in State law. For other States, if a crime 
committed against a pregnant woman results in termination of or harm to 
a pregnancy, the harm to the pregnancy is an adjunct to the crime or 
may be used as a sentence enhancement.


                          better alternatives

  I am also here today to support Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's 
substitute, the ``Motherhood Protection Act'' (MPA). This is a crime 
bill that designed to protect pregnant women from violence. MPA 
embodies many of the same principles that I offered as amendments in 
the House Judiciary Committee, where this bill was originally 
introduced. I have always supported the intent of this bill, to protect 
the life of the pregnant mother who has suffered as a victim of a crime 
of violence and the viability of her pregnancy. However, I oppose the 
means by which the drafters of this bill have used to achieve its end. 
Like MPA, all my offered amendments referred to changing language in 
the bill, focusing on the pregnant mother instead of the fetus.

  The MPA creates a second, separate offense with separate, strict, and 
consistent penalties for assault resulting in the termination of a 
pregnancy or assault resulting in prenatal injury.
  MPA recognizes the pregnant woman as the primary victim of an assault 
that causes the termination of her pregnancy, and it creates a separate 
crime to punish this offense. In this way, the bill accomplishes the 
stated goals of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act--the deterrence and 
punishment of violent acts against pregnant women--while avoiding any 
undermining of the right to choose.
  This bill fails to address the very real need for strong Federal 
legislation to prevent and punish violent crimes against women. Nearly 
one in every three adult women experiences at least one physical 
assault by a partner during adulthood.
  Congress can protect pregnant women from violence without resorting 
to controversial bills like Unborn Victims of Violence that undermine 
Roe v. Wade. We must take strong steps to prevent such attacks and must 
recognize the unique tragedy suffered by a woman whose pregnancy is 
lost or harmed as a result of violence. I am calling on Congress to 
support tough criminal laws that focus on the harm suffered by women 
who are victimized while pregnant, as well as a range of programs that 
promote healthy childbearing and family planning.
  While I am pleased to see the Bush administration taking an active 
interest in women and children, I hope they will see their goals can be 
met in other areas. I would like to see the Bush administration focus 
their efforts on caring for a pregnant woman by providing her decent 
medical care. I hope the Bush administration ensures more happy 
pregnancies and births, both with proper family planning and prenatal 
care. I call on the Bush administration to have to care for the 
millions of children already living and breathing in our country, but 
go to school in overcrowded classrooms and dilapidated buildings.
  We have a wide range of programs in place to help woman and children. 
I would like my colleagues to spend more time encouraging and funding 
these, rather than once again undermining a woman's attempt to choose.
  I fully support a woman's right to choose, including a woman's right 
to choose to carry a pregnancy to term. Because Unborn Victims of 
Violence does nothing to protect women and because its clear intent is 
to create fetal personhood, I, along with Planning Parenthood 
Federation of America, oppose this legislation. Congress should adopt a 
more reasoned approach that would protect all women from violence.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, the women who are the victims of the violence that has 
caused death or harm to their babies have already made their choice, 
and their choice was to carry their babies to term and to give birth 
and to raise those children in hopefully a nurturing and loving 
household. To say that this legislation takes away the choice of a 
woman is just flat-out wrong. Maybe some people disagree with the 
choice that that woman made, but that is a personal choice; and we 
ought to recognize that this legislation respects that personal choice.
  And then to hear that this legislation is an assault on the 
Constitution is completely missing the point. The Supreme Court has 
consistently upheld fetal homicide laws, two-victim crime laws. The 
Webster case, I think, was the most emphatic upholding of that, and 
that is a Supreme Court that has also consistently refused to modify 
Roe v. Wade or to overrule it. So the Court has been able to make a 
distinction which apparently some of the Members on the other side of 
this argument have not been able to make, that fetal homicide laws are 
constitutional, two-victim crime laws are legal as well.
  Now, I hope that more Members would have been able to hear the 
arguments that were advanced by the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Gingrey),

[[Page H647]]

who was an obstetrician by profession before he was elected to 
Congress. He has said that in some instances a minor bruise on the 
abdomen of a pregnant woman can result in the death of the child. If 
all that someone can be prosecuted for is that minor bruise, then the 
full force of the law against someone who has caused the death of 
another would not be able to be imposed against that defendant without 
a two-victim bill. And that is why two victims is so important. It is 
important, it is constitutional; but, most of all, it respects the 
right of the women who have decided that they do not want an abortion, 
that they want to give birth, and they want to raise the child with all 
the love that a newborn child deserves.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. 
Aderholt).
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding me this 
time.
  Of course, as has been said on numerous occasions this morning, we 
are considering the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. I joined 136 
Members of this body to cosponsor this legislation, and I want to 
commend the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania (Ms. Hart) for her sponsoring 
this legislation this morning. I do believe the time has come for the 
House to pass this legislation again and help ensure that it is signed 
into law. And again, as has been stated this morning, this legislation 
takes an important step that recognizing that violence against an 
unborn child, against the will of a mother, can be prosecuted in the 
Federal courts.
  This law is very simple. It would establish that if an unborn child 
is injured or killed during the commission of an already defined 
Federal crime of violence, then the assailant may be charged with a 
second offense on behalf of the second victim, the unborn child. This 
bill recognizes an unborn child as a separate victim in the eyes of the 
Federal law.
  I have supported this law previously; but as I stand here today, the 
bill takes on a little bit different meaning. My wife, Caroline, is due 
to give birth on Monday in Alabama to our second child; and looking at 
her and feeling the baby move and seeing the sonograms, I do not think 
there is a shadow of a doubt that the child is a child. This child 
certainly deserves the full protection of the law.
  Caroline reminded me just a few weeks ago that she and Laci were at 
about the same stage of their pregnancies during the Christmas 
holidays, and of course that is when she was killed during that time. 
So it, like I said, takes on a special meaning not only for me but also 
for my wife, Caroline. But if something should happen to any mother or 
to any child who is in the womb and they become a victim of a crime, I 
think the American people would want to see justice on behalf of both 
individuals, the mother and the child.
  So I respectfully ask my colleagues this morning to send a strong 
message to the Senate and to the President that our goal is to protect 
the most vulnerable and the most innocent among us.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the distinguished chairman, first of all, I congratulate 
him for endorsing the right to choose. But second of all, he talked 
about the woman who has chosen to bear her pregnancy to term, to have a 
child, and an assault which destroys her fetus or damages her fetus is 
an assault on her right to choose, and indeed it is. He is entirely 
right. That is why the substitute makes the assault on her fetus a 
separate crime with a separate penalty against her because it is indeed 
an assault on her right to choose to carry that pregnancy to term, and 
she is the damaged party because she has lost her right to carry the 
pregnancy to term. She has lost her right to bear a child, and that is 
why in the substitute we make it an additional crime against her.

                              {time}  1130

  The bill, of course, makes it a separate crime against the fetus, and 
that is the question here.
  Also, the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Stearns) quoted 
Exodus 21:22. He said it was 22:22, but it is 21:22. He misquoted what 
it said. Before I read it, let me be very clear: I did not raise this 
reference to the Bible because I think we ought to enact Biblical or 
religious law in this Chamber, far from it, but simply to show it has 
always been regarded, our civilization generally has regarded back to 
Biblical times the fetus as not having the status of a separate person.
  Exodus 21:22 reads as follows: ``If men strive and hurt a woman with 
child so that her fruit depart from her,'' in other words, she has a 
miscarriage, they cause the destruction of the fetus, ``and yet no 
mischief follow, he shall be surely punished and he shall pay as the 
judges determine,'' monetary compensation. ``And if any mischief 
follow, then they shall give life for life.''
  Now, I am not sure what the Bible means by ``mischief.'' I have an 
interpretation here from a rabbinical source that says it means if she 
dies.
  But, in any event, if she does not die, if mischief does not follow, 
if she has a miscarriage, monetary compensation. It is only when 
mischief follows, when she dies, that he is guilty of a capital crime. 
That is precisely because at least the Bible did not consider the fetus 
to be a person for whose killing it is a capital crime, as killing a 
born person is.
  Again, I cite this not because we are bound in enacting civil law to 
enact Biblical law, we are not, obviously, but simply to show, as I 
mentioned earlier, this bill, by trying to establish the fetus as a 
separate person for legal purposes, is a radical departure not only 
from Anglo-American legal traditions, but from all of Western legal 
traditions going way back to the Bible.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 5 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Maloney).
  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his leadership 
on this issue and so many others. I really rise in strong opposition to 
this bill and in support of the Lofgren amendment.
  In a country in which up to two-thirds of battered women are turned 
away from shelters for lack of space, in no way does this bill combat 
domestic violence. But no one should be naive enough to think that this 
bill has anything to do with domestic violence. Instead, this is 
another step down the slippery slope toward granting personage to 
fetuses. This sets up an untenable situation in which a fetus' rights 
and interests are at odds with its mother.
  To make the fetus a person would inject a layer of legal 
complexibility that would make every pregnant woman's ordinary 
decisions perilous, opening her medical and other choices to second-
guessing liability or even criminal charges. This bill criminalizes 
actions that can occur at the very earliest phases of pregnancy, making 
every miscarriage subject to an investigation.
  Roughly 20 to 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. 
Usually there is a genetic reason, but sometimes there is another 
cause. Studies show that miscarriages can occur because of excessive 
coffee drinking, smoking, exposure to chemicals, illness, stress or 
trauma during an accident. Since culpability accrues whether the 
perpetrator knows the woman is pregnant or not, a wide variety of 
relatively innocent actions could lead to charges.
  If someone comes to work, for example, with German measles, knowing 
that they could infect a fellow worker, could they be guilty of 
manslaughter? Will Starbucks have to post signs advising pregnant women 
that they cannot buy more than two cups of coffee per day? Will car 
manufacturers face imprisonment for miscarriages caused by steering 
wheels, seat belts or air bags? Will airlines face criminal charges if 
they permit pregnant women to fly? Will bodega owners be charged for 
selling pregnant women cigarettes?
  If this bill is really about violence against pregnant women, then we 
should pass the Lofgren amendment and increase penalties against people 
who harm a pregnant woman. Let us step off the slippery slope and 
reserve personage to the born.
  This bill is also another chipping away at a woman's right to choose. 
This body recently passed the so-called partial-birth abortion ban, 
which ignored the health and life of a woman. Now this bill before us 
today, once again, ignores the health and life of a woman.

[[Page H648]]

  I have kept a scorecard of antichoice actions since the Republican 
majority took over in 1995. If this bill passes today, it will mark the 
202nd action against a woman's right to choose, which is exactly what 
this bill is intended to do. We heard it straight from Senator Hatch's 
mouth last July when he commented on this bill: ``They say it 
undermines abortion rights. It does. But that is irrelevant.''
  It is insulting that the authors of this legislation would use 
violence against women as a vehicle to attack a woman's right to 
choose.
  Let me say it again, this bill does nothing to address the violence 
against women, but the Lofgren substitute does. The Lofgren substitute 
would severely punish crimes against pregnant women without tangling 
juries and prosecutors in the abortion debate. It creates a separate 
Federal offense for crimes against pregnant women and carries penalties 
of 20 years in prison to a maximum life sentence for causing 
termination of a woman's pregnancy. The Lofgren amendment protects 
pregnant women without limiting their very basic rights and without 
defining the Constitution to establish fetal personage.
  Please vote in favor of the Lofgren amendment, which will be up 
shortly, and no to this underlying bill.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Minnesota (Mr. Kennedy).
  Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support 
of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Few people know that homicide is 
the leading cause of death of pregnant women in this country. Thousands 
more expectant mothers will experience physical violence during their 
pregnancy each year. When a pregnant woman is harmed, so is her child. 
Under these circumstances, it only makes sense that a criminal should 
be prosecuted for harming two innocent lives rather than one. In fact, 
29 States, including my State of Minnesota, have laws that protect 
unborn children during some stage of development. If the mother is not 
killed in an attack, but the unborn child is, clearly that attacker is 
responsible for the unborn child's death. However, in the eyes of the 
law, nobody died, and the most an attacker can be charged with is 
assault.
  This must be changed. Even in the highly publicized tragedy involving 
Laci and Conner Peterson, the national media rightly recognized that 
there were clearly two victims. But if this were a Federal case, only 
one victim would be recognized.
  The opponents of this bill have wrongly characterized this bill and 
tried to give credence to their one-victim alternative. But I would 
like to bring to you what the mother of Laci Peterson had to say:
  ``Please understand how adoption of such a single-victim proposal 
would be a painful blow to those like me who are left to grieve after a 
two-victim crime because Congress would be saying that Conner and other 
innocent victims like him are not really victims; indeed, that they 
never really existed at all. But our grandson did live. He had a name, 
he was loved, and his life was violently taken from him before he ever 
saw the sun.''
  That comes from Laci's mother, from Conner's grandmother. This is 
something that 84 percent of Americans support. This is something that 
this House has passed twice. The President supports it. I urge my 
colleagues to join me in supporting it.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Solis).
  Ms. SOLIS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York for 
yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, today I rise also in strong opposition to the so-called 
Unborn Victims of Violence Act. I am extremely disappointed that the 
issue of violence against women is being manipulated into a political 
tug of war.
  The bill recognizes for the first time a fetus as a person with 
rights separate and equal to that of a woman. Nearly one in every three 
adult women experience at least one physical assault by someone that 
she knows, a partner in many cases.
  There is no doubt that acts of violence against women, especially 
pregnant women, are tragic and should be punished to the full extent of 
the law. However, we must institute legislation that does not erode the 
legal foundation of a woman's right to choose as a condition of 
protection against violence. We must support legislation that truly 
addresses harm to pregnant women and domestic violence.
  The Democratic substitute being offered today by Lofgren, the 
Motherhood Protection Act, would create a separate Federal criminal 
offense for harm to a pregnant woman, instead of recognizing the fetus 
as a separate legal person. Recognizing the real issue at hand, harm to 
a pregnant woman, must not be exploited to further a long-standing 
political agenda.
  I urge my colleagues to vote against H.R. 1997, and support the 
Lofgren substitute.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Florida (Ms. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida).
  Ms. GINNY BROWN-WAITE of Florida. Mr. Speaker, this being February, 
many of us in our districts attended various fund-raisers for domestic 
violence shelters, and most of the titles of the funds-raisers that I 
attended this month were ``Love Does Not Have to Hurt.''
  We need to have some Federal sentencing guidelines, because they 
currently fail to adequately cover the death or injury of an unborn 
child. For example, if a woman survives an attack but loses her unborn 
child, current law says that a murder has not taken place. Federal law 
does not recognize the death of Laci Peterson and her son Conner as a 
double murder.
  Many times the intended target is the unborn baby itself. Failing to 
classify this as a murder defies reasonable notions of justice.
  We hear a lot of debate about is this really related to the abortion 
issue? The debate over this legislation has been twisted by some into a 
debate over abortion. However, the abortion debate is really over a 
woman's right to choose.
  This legislation affirms a woman's right to choose by punishing the 
criminal that has robbed her not only of her choice, but also of her 
child. Nothing in the Roe v. Wade decision prevents Congress from 
recognizing lives of the unborn children outside the parameters of the 
right to an abortion.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to support the original provisions of 
the Unborn Victims of Violence Act because they recognize clearly what 
most Americans back in our districts feel, that violence against an 
unborn child is a crime just as heinous as the attack on its mother.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Wisconsin (Ms. Baldwin).
  Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 1997, 
the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
  Let us be clear: This bill is nothing more than an attack on a 
woman's right to choose. By defining the phrase ``child in utero'' to 
include any member of the species Homo sapiens at any stage of 
development who is carried in the woman, this bill provides protections 
for an embryo or fetus, regardless of the stage of development, from 
conception to birth. By establishing this fetal personhood in this 
manner, this bill establishes a legal framework to attack a woman's 
right to choose as guaranteed by the Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade 
decision.
  This bill forges new ground in attempting to recognize embryos and 
fetuses at all stages of development as persons with the same legal 
status as the mother. In fact, this bill makes no mention of the 
primary victim of violence, the pregnant woman, and instead creates a 
new cause of action on behalf of the unborn, and this marks a major 
departure from existing law and threatens the foundations of the right 
to choose.
  We all agree that every time a criminal causes the injury or death of 
a pregnant woman through violence, it is a tragedy.

                              {time}  1145

  But we must also acknowledge that an attack against an unborn child 
is necessarily an attack against a pregnant woman. Unfortunately, 
rather than supporting tougher laws against domestic violence, sexual 
assault and battery, we are instead debating a bill that does not even 
recognize the harm to a pregnant woman.

[[Page H649]]

  During the debate, I have heard some Members talk about stories they 
have heard from people they have met. I remember in Wisconsin hearing 
testimony of a personal story of a woman who was beaten by her spouse 
when pregnant and lost her child. She was also beaten right after she 
first got married and beaten before her pregnancy, and beaten in the 
early stages of her pregnancy. If we had taken a tough enough approach 
to violence against women, the violence would not have progressed so 
far.
  I have long been a supporter of the Violence Against Women Act, which 
expands protections for women against these callous acts of violence. I 
believe we would be much better served by laws to protect women, 
pregnant or not, from violence, instead of establishing an entirely new 
framework to protect fetal rights.
  By switching the focus of these crimes, we are diverting attention 
from the victimized women, and this is not a step forward in the fight 
against domestic violence.
  I urge my colleagues to vote against these bills and then work 
together to do proactive legislation to better attack violence against 
women.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Bartlett).
  (Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland. Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act and to oppose the Democratic amendment.
  H.R. 1997 would state that when a violent criminal act is committed 
against a pregnant woman, and that act results in the death of the 
baby, the criminal will be guilty of a second offense.
  What this debate comes down to is personhood, according to a well-
known liberal activist group. People for the American Way, a group 
opposing this bill, stated, ``Unlike the underlying bill, however, the 
pro-choice Lofgren substitute would not threaten Roe by recognizing the 
embryo or fetus as a separate, legal `person.' '' That is correct. 
Today in the House, we declare that criminal acts committed against 
pregnant mothers are crimes against two persons. What else could it be?
  Human beings take different forms throughout life, but they never 
lose their humanness, their humanity. A baby in the womb will be born a 
person. A newborn, although it cannot fend for itself, is a person. An 
87-year-old that shuffles slowly along is still a person.
  Mr. Speaker, when there are two victims, there should be two crimes. 
I urge the House to pass H.R. 1997.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey).
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose this bill, and I question 
how this body could even consider a proposal as dishonest as this one. 
This bill is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a proposal to undermine 
reproductive rights dressed up as a bill to punish violent crimes 
against women.
  We have really important issues that we should be considering, Mr. 
Speaker, rather than legislation that will undermine a woman's right to 
choose. We should be focusing this time today on policies that ensure 
every woman has a healthy pregnancy. We should promote solutions to the 
tragedy of domestic violence and the many other heinous offenses 
against women.
  If antichoice forces would like to debate whether or not a woman has 
the right to make her own medical decisions, I am ready for that 
debate. Our constituents deserve a frank discussion about a woman's 
right to choose. It is unfair and it is misleading to characterize this 
bill as anything other than an assault on reproductive freedom in this 
country.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in the opposition of 
this misleading base legislation and in favor of the Lofgren substitute 
that protects the pregnant woman without reducing her own rights.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Ferguson).
  Mr. FERGUSON. Mr. Speaker, passing this bill, the Unborn Victims of 
Violence Act, which is also known as Laci and Conner's Law, should be 
common sense to us all. I am mystified, frankly, by those who seem to 
be hysterical in their opposition to this commonsense legislation.
  Let us see why this bill is so important. This is a picture of Ashley 
Lyons. Ashley learned last year that she was expecting; and the joy of 
the thought of her new child filled her heart. Tragically, earlier this 
year, Ashley was murdered and her unborn son, Landon, died as well. Was 
one life lost, or were two? Of course, two people died in that crime.
  Here is a picture of Tracy Marciniak and her son, Zachariah. While in 
the 9th month of pregnancy, Tracy was brutally beaten, a crime which 
resulted in the death of her unborn son, Zachariah. According to some, 
even some in this very Chamber, according to some in this very chamber 
Today, there was no murder committed here. And according to some in 
this very Chamber, Tracy did not lose her child.
  Did two people die when Ashley Lyons and her son, Landon, were 
murdered, or just one? Was a murder committed when Tracy Marciniak was 
beaten and her unborn son was killed? During the search for Laci 
Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, in San Francisco, did they find 
two bodies or did they find just one body?
  Mr. Speaker, if my colleagues think nobody died here, that there were 
no crimes committed here, then vote ``no'' on this bill. But if my 
colleagues can get past the politics and the idealogy to see the truth, 
if they can see the common sense that there were two victims in this 
crime, that there was a murder committed here and that there were two 
victims in the Peterson murder case, then they must and they will vote 
``yes'' on this bill.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I will read into the Record some letters that we have 
here. This bill has been represented as a bill on family violence. We 
have here a letter in opposition to the bill and in support of the 
Lofgren substitute from the Family Violence Prevention Fund. It says: 
``If Congress is serious about stopping domestic violence against 
pregnant women and helping women and children who are victims, Members 
will quickly pass the Domestic Violence Screening, Treatment and 
Prevention Act, H.R. 1267.''
  The American Association of University Women is opposed to this bill. 
The National Women's Law Center is opposed to this bill.
  The National Council of Jewish Women is opposed to this bill in which 
they say that ``this bill defines an unborn child as a member of the 
species homo sapiens at any stage of development. For the first time, 
it gives separate legal protection to a fertilized egg, embryo, or 
fetus and mandates penalties for harm to an unborn child equal to those 
mandated for harm to the woman herself. This legal definition will set 
a precedent that the anti-choice movement can exploit in its ongoing 
efforts to equate abortion with murder. And it would establish a 
foundation on which to build a case that the rights of fertilized eggs, 
embryos, and fetuses are apart from and superior to the rights of the 
women in whose bodies they develop.
  ``The Unborn Victims of Violence Act is a sham designed to exploit 
the understandable public sympathy for a woman who loses her pregnancy 
or her life to violence in order to promote an agenda by which women 
will in fact lose control of their bodies to the State.'' That is from 
the National Council of Jewish Women.
  The National Abortion Federation, the Religious Coalition of 
Reproductive Choice, the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL, People 
for the American Way, the National Organization for Women, all of these 
groups are concerned either about abortion rights, about reproductive 
rights, about women's rights, about domestic violence; and they are all 
opposed to this bill.
  Juley Fulcher of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 
which is the group that for the last 25 years has led the fight for 
antidomestic violence legislation in the States and in the Congress, 
testified against this bill in our committee, and I commend her 
testimony to my colleagues.
  Mr. Speaker, I will insert all of these letters into the Record at 
this time.

[[Page H650]]

                              Family Violence Prevention Fund,

                                Washington, DC, January, 27, 2004.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     Rayburn House Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Nadler: On behalf of the Family 
     Violence Prevention Fund, I am writing to express concern 
     about the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, H.R. 1997, passed 
     by the House Judiciary Committee on January 21. We are deeply 
     disappointed that some are promoting this bill as a way to 
     end domestic violence, when better and more direct measures 
     to stop family violence languish in Congress year after year. 
     Members of Congress who want to stop abuse will put their 
     energy into passing the prevention and intervention measures 
     that offer great promise to stop violence before it starts.
       The murder of Laci Peterson was an unspeakable tragedy, but 
     many laws designed as quick fixes have caused great harm. For 
     example, mandatory domestic violence health reporting laws 
     deter women from seeking the medical help they need. We need 
     to step back and consider what actually works. Our goal must 
     be to stop violence against all women, regardless of whether 
     they are pregnant.
       If Congress is serious about stopping domestic violence 
     against pregnant women and helping women and children who are 
     victims, Members will quickly pass the Domestic Violence 
     Screening, Treatment and Prevention Act, H.R. 1267. this 
     essential bill would train health care providers to routinely 
     screen female patients for a lifetime history of abuse and 
     give women access to critical domestic violence services when 
     abuse is identified. Introduced in the House in March of 2003 
     by Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) and Steven LaTourette (R-
     OH), this bill has the potential to prevent tragedies by 
     helping victims before violence escalates.
       We also urge Congress to fully fund all Violence Against 
     Women Act programs and support legislation that would 
     actually prevent domestic violence before it begins. Domestic 
     violence prevention legislation should include services for 
     children who are exposed to abuse, programs that support 
     young families at risk of violence, and efforts to teach 
     young men and boys how to develop healthy, non-violent 
     relationships. Such legislation would do much more to stem 
     the tide of domestic violence than the Unborn Victims of 
     Violence Act.
       Finally, we wish to thank you for your continued leadership 
     and support on this issue. As an advocate in Congress and as 
     one of our Founding Fathers, you truly make a difference in 
     the movement to end violence against women and children. If 
     we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact 
     Kiersten Stewart in our Washington, D.C. office at 202-682-
     1212.
           Sincerely,

                                                   Esta Soler,

                                                        President,
     Family Violence Prevention Fund.
                                  ____

                                           American Association of


                                             University Women,

                                 Washington, DC, January 27, 2004.

        Oppose the H.R. 1997--The Unborn Victims of Violence Act

       Dear Representative: On behalf of over 100,000 members of 
     the American Association of University Women (AAUW), we 
     express our deep opposition to the Unborn Victims of Violence 
     Act (H.R. 1997). AAUW opposes H.R. 1997 because it would 
     create a separate criminal offense if an individual kills or 
     injures an ``unborn child'' while committing a federal crime 
     against a woman. AAUW believes that the bill fails to 
     directly address the real problem--violence against women--
     and ignores the needs of the woman by dismissing the fact 
     that any assault that harms a pregnancy is inherently an 
     attack on the woman.
       AAUW has spent the last century fighting for protections 
     for women and children from all forms of violence. AAUW has 
     also worked tirelessly to protect a woman's right to choose. 
     These two priorities should never come into conflict, but 
     H.R. 1997 pits one against the other in an unnecessary attack 
     on the legitimacy of Roe v. Wade. H.R. 1997 attempts to 
     thwart a woman's right to choose by undermining that landmark 
     Supreme Court decision, which held that fetuses are not 
     persons within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. H.R. 
     1997 attempts to recognize a fetus as a person, with rights 
     separate from and equal to those of a woman, and worthy of 
     legal protection. Rather than creating separate legal rights 
     for the fetus, Congress should bolster its efforts on behalf 
     of pregnant women by enhancing the penalties for the 
     underlying crime against the woman.
       Once again, we urge you to oppose H.R. 1997. If you have 
     any questions, please call Lisa Maatz, Director of Public 
     Policy & Government Relations, at 202/785-7720, or Lynsey 
     Morris, Government Relations Manager, 202/785-7730.
           Sincerely,
     Nancy Rustad,
       President.
     Jacqueline E. Woods,
       Executive Director.
                                  ____



                                  National Women's Law Center,

                                 Washington, DC, January 20, 2004.
       Dear Senator: On behalf of the National Women's Law Center, 
     we are writing to ask you to oppose H.R. 1997, ``The Unborn 
     Victims of Violence Act.'' This bill not only ignores the 
     violent crime against the woman but also sets a dangerous 
     federal precedent that will undermine a woman's right to 
     choose.
       Acts of violence against women, and most certainly against 
     pregnant women, are abhorrent, and the criminal justice 
     system should respond decisively and strongly to them. But 
     H.R. 1997 is not the proper response. This bill would create 
     a separate offense for harm or termination of a pregnancy at 
     any stage of development during the commission of any of 
     several federal criminal acts. H.R. 1997 fails to recognize 
     the violence to the woman and ignores the reality that any 
     attack that harms a pregnancy inherently is an attack on the 
     pregnant woman herself. At a past House Judiciary 
     Subcommittee on the Constitution Hearing on this bill, 
     domestic violence expert Julie Fulcher testified against the 
     bill, stating, ``The `Unborn Victims of Violence Act' is not 
     designed to protect women. . . . The result is that the crime 
     committed against a pregnant woman is no longer about the 
     woman victimized by violence. Instead, the focus often will 
     be switched to the impact of that crime on the unborn fetus, 
     once again diverting the attention of the legal system away 
     from domestic violence or other violence against women.''
       This legislation would also unnecessarily inject the 
     abortion debate into the federal criminal system. It creates 
     a separate offense for harm to the ``unborn child,'' which it 
     defines as ``a member of the species homo sapiens, at any 
     stage of development, who is carried in the womb,'' and 
     punishes this violation as if the offense had occurred to a 
     person. If enacted, it would be the first federal law where a 
     zygote, blastocyst, embryo or fetus could be an independent 
     victim of a crime, and thus a ``legal person'' with the same 
     legal rights as live-born individuals. Thus, this legislation 
     conflicts with the legal principles underlying the Supreme 
     Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.
       Moreover, the bill's construction and vague language 
     ensures that prosecutions will get bogged down in arguments 
     about when life begins--discussions better held by 
     constitutional scholars, academics, clerics and philosophers, 
     not by juries in criminal courts. Ultimately, the bill as 
     crafted provides a vehicle for yet another challenge to Roe 
     and its progeny before the United States Supreme Court. A 
     much simpler bill could have been crafted to create new 
     federal anti-crime legislation--rather than anti-abortion 
     legislation.
       We look forward to working with you on legislation that 
     truly addresses the tragedy of a pregnancy lost due to a 
     violent crime. Other proposals are being developed that focus 
     on the attack on the woman and resulting harm to her fetus. 
     These alternatives would allow for swift and efficient 
     prosecution of criminal wrongdoers and would not undermine 
     the legal principles underlying a woman's right to choose. We 
     urge you to oppose H.R. 1997--although it purports to aid 
     women, in reality this bill not only ignores women crime 
     victims but undermines their constitutional rights.
           Sincerely,
     Marcia D. Greenberger,
       Co-President.
     Judy Waxman,
       Vice President, Health and Reproductive Rights.
                                  ____

                                               National Council of


                                                 Jewish Women,

                                     Washington, DC, January 2004.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the 90,000 members of the 
     National Council of Jewish Women, I urge you to oppose the 
     ``Unborn Victims of Violence Act,'' (S. 1019) which purports 
     to protect pregnant women by enhancing penalties for criminal 
     acts that harm an ``unborn child.'' Recognizing harm to an 
     ``unborn child'' that is injured in the commission of a crime 
     does nothing to help pregnant women that are victims of 
     violence. It merely aids the anti-choice movement in 
     establishing separate legal status for the fetus.
       The Unborn Victims of Violence Act defines an ``unborn 
     child'' as ``a member of the species homo sapiens, at any 
     stage of development.'' For the first time, it gives separate 
     legal protection to a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus, and 
     mandates penalties for harm to an ``unborn child'' equal to 
     those mandated for harm to the woman herself. This legal 
     definition will set a precedent that the anti-choice movement 
     can exploit in its ongoing efforts to equate abortion with 
     murder. And, it would establish a foundation on which to 
     build a case that the rights of fertilized eggs, embryos, and 
     fetuses are apart from and superior to the rights of the 
     women in whose bodies they develop.
       The ``Unborn Victims of Violence Act'' is a sham, designed 
     to exploit the understandable public sympathy for a woman who 
     loses her pregnancy or her life to violence in order to 
     promote an agenda by which women will in fact lose control of 
     their bodies to the state.
       If you have any questions, please contact Carolyn Ratner, 
     Senior Legislative Associate, at 202-296-2588.
                                  ____



                                 National Abortion Federation,

                                                 January 27, 2004.
     Representative Nadler,
     Rayburn House Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Nadler: On behalf of the National 
     Abortion Federation (NAF), I am writing to thank you for your 
     principled opposition to H.R. 1997, ``The Unborn Victims of 
     Violence Act.'' This legislation poses

[[Page H651]]

     a direct threat to a woman's right to choose a safe and legal 
     abortion by granting personhood to a zygote, blastocyst, 
     embryo, and fetus separate and apart from the woman.
       NAF opposes this legislation because it does nothing to 
     protect pregnant women. Not a single provision of the bill 
     addresses the underlying problem of violence against women. 
     Instead, the bill emphasizes the fetus over the woman, 
     diverts attention away from violence against women, and fails 
     to recognize that the best way to protect a fetus is to 
     better protect women from violence.
       The supporters of the bill claim that they want to protect 
     pregnant women. The true intent behind this bill--to 
     dismantle Roe v. Wade and undermine a woman's right to choose 
     has been exposed. Additionally, this bill would set a 
     dangerous legal precedent by establishing in law that an 
     ``unborn child'' is an individual separate from a woman, and 
     by elevating its status above that of a woman. The 
     legislation makes no distinction between a fetus that is nine 
     months old, an embryo that is six weeks old, a blastocyst 
     that is four days old and has yet to implant in the uterus, 
     and a zygote that is two hours old and has yet to split into 
     more than two cells. By granting full personhood to a fetus, 
     embryo, blastocyst, and zygote, the bill threatens to set the 
     stage for a complete prohibition of abortion.
       Acts of violence against women, including pregnant women, 
     are intolerable, and the criminal justice system should 
     respond to them. H.R. 1997, however, is not the right 
     response. Thank you again for your vote against this 
     legislation, and for your continuing support of a woman's 
     right to choose.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Vicki Saporta,
     President & CEO.
                                  ____

                                           Religious Coalition for


                                          Reproductive Choice,

                                 Washington, DC, January 27, 2004.
     Representative Jerrold Nadler,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Congressman Nadler: I am writing to express my strong 
     opposition to the so-called ``Unborn Victims of Violence 
     Act,'' H.R. 1997, which was recently reported out by the 
     House Judiciary Committee.
       The bill recognizes a fertilized egg, zygote or fetus as a 
     person by explicitly stating that any human ``in utero'' is a 
     ``child,'' regardless of gestational length. Thus the bill 
     seeks to impose one religious belief about the beginning of 
     life--that the fetus at all stages of development is a 
     person--and make it the law for all, regardless of individual 
     beliefs. As an interfaith coalition, we believe that 
     government must not impose one religious view about any issue 
     on everyone.
       The claims by UVVA supporters that this bill is about 
     preventing violence against pregnant women are preposterous. 
     Their unwillingness to consider the amendments offered in 
     committee by Reps. Lofgren, Baldwin and Scott shows that 
     their aim is to establish fetal personhood and fetal rights, 
     rather than to address the serious problem of violence 
     against pregnant women.
       The main purpose of this bill is to identify the fertilized 
     egg or fetus as a separate ``person'' with legal rights 
     distinct from those of the pregnant woman, and thus lay the 
     foundation for overturning Roe v. Wade. I strongly urge its 
     defeat.
           Sincerely,
                                           Rev. Carlton W. Veazey,
                                                President and CEO.


                               American Civil Liberties Union,

                                 Washington, DC, January 20, 2004.

   Oppose ``The Unborn Victims of Violence Act'' (H.R. 1997) During 
                 Tomorrow's Judiciary Committee Markup

       Dear Representative: The ACLU strongly urges you to oppose 
     H.R. 1997, deemed by its sponsors ``The Unborn Victims of 
     Violence Act,'' when it is marked up in the House Judiciary 
     Committee tomorrow. This bill unnecessarily undermines 
     reproductive freedom, when alternative approaches to 
     punishing violent crimes against women exist.
        H.R. 1997 would amend the Federal criminal code to create 
     a new, separate offense if, during the commission of certain 
     Federal crimes, an individual causes the death of, or bodily 
     injury to, what the sponsors call a ``child in utero.'' 
     Because H.R. 1997 applies to all stages of prenatal 
     development, it would be the first Federal law to recognize a 
     zygote (fertilized egg), a blastocyst (pre-implantation 
     embryo), an embryo (through week eight of a pregnancy), or a 
     fetus as an independent ``victim'' of a crime with legal 
     rights distinct from the woman who has been harmed by a 
     violent criminal act.
        The ACLU fully supports efforts to punish acts of violence 
     against women that harm or terminate a wanted pregnancy. This 
     bill is an inappropriate method of imposing such punishment, 
     however, because it dangerously seeks to separate the woman 
     from her fetus in the eyes of the law. It could dramatically 
     alter the existing legal framework, elevate the fetus to an 
     unprecedented status in Federal law, and undermine the 
     foundations of the right to choose abortion.
        In addition, H.R. 1997 explicitly disavows a mens rea (or 
     criminal intent) requirement with respect to the harm to the 
     fetus and thus is in tension with the Constitution's Due 
     Process guarantees. The bill permits a person to be convicted 
     of the offense of harm to a fetus even if he or she did not 
     know, and had no reason to know, that the woman was pregnant, 
     and he or she did not intend to cause harm to the fetus. Such 
     a result undermines the Constitution's promise of due 
     process.
        Criminal interference with a woman's right to bear a child 
     should be prevented and punished. Legislation that imposes 
     enhanced penalties for violent acts that intentionally 
     compromise a pregnancy appropriately punish the additional 
     injury a woman suffers without recognizing the fetus as a 
     legal entity separate and distinct from the woman who has 
     been harmed.
        For these reasons, we strongly urge you to vote against 
     H.R. 1997 when it is considered in the Judiciary Committee.
           Sincerely,
     Laura W. Murphy,
       Director.
     Gregory T. Nojeim,
       Associate Director and Chief Legislative Counsel.
                                  ____



                                     NARAL Pro-Choice America,

                                                 January 23, 2004.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Nadler: I write to reiterate NARAL Pro-
     Choice America's opposition to H.R. 1997, the so-called 
     Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
       This legislation recognizes a second legal ``person'' when 
     a pregnant woman is a victim of certain federal crimes. 
     Sponsors claim the bill is aimed at violence against women, 
     and at first blush, their proposal may seem reasonable or 
     innocuous. Indeed, NARAL Pro-Choice America strongly believes 
     that acts of violence against women, especially pregnant 
     women, are tragic and should be punished to the full extent 
     of the law. But sponsors of the Unborn Victims of Violence 
     Act are not interested in addressing the real issues at hand.
       Unfortunately, a close examination reveals that the bill is 
     not designed to protect pregnant women from violence. 
     Instead, it is carefully crafted to undermine a woman's right 
     to choose. The bill creates a separate federal offense if, 
     during commission of certain crimes, a person causes death or 
     injury to what the sponsors call ``a member of the species 
     homo sapiens at all stages of development.'' For the first 
     time in federal law, this bill recognizes a zygote 
     (fertilized egg), blastocyst (preimplantation embryo), embryo 
     (through week eight of a pregnancy), and fetus as a 
     ``person'' that can be an independent victim of a crime.
       For the first time in federal law, this legislation would 
     grant an embryo rights separate from, and equal to, those of 
     a woman. Any doubts about the sponsor's true motives have 
     been erased. Indeed, one of the bill's lead sponsors 
     admitted: ``They say it undermines abortion rights. It does. 
     But that's irrelevant.'' Similarly, a prominent anti-choice 
     advocate has observed: ``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.''
       While NARAL Pro-Choice America agrees that crimes against 
     pregnant women should be punished, there are other ways to 
     accomplish that goal that do not embroil the issue in the 
     abortion debate. When the Judiciary Committee considered the 
     bill, members offered a number of sensible amendments, each 
     of which would have represented a more responsible and 
     effective option. Unfortunately, anti-choice committee 
     members defeated each attempt, for one reason only: it did 
     not grant legal ``personhood'' status to an embryo or fetus.
       Finally, it is important to note that domestic-violence 
     organizations--which take no position on legal abortion--
     oppose the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. The National 
     Coalition Against Domestic Violence testified that this 
     legislation excludes the woman entirely from the equation and 
     could end up exacerbating, not improving, vulnerable women's 
     circumstances. If Congress were truly interested in 
     protecting women, it could enact sensible policies that help 
     prevent, intervene against, and provide services for women 
     who are victims of domestic violence and other violent 
     crimes.
       NARAL Pro-Choice America shares their concern and urges 
     Congress instead to pass common-sense measures that help 
     women, and do not undermine their rights.
       Thank you for your consideration.
           Warm regards,
                                                   Kate Michelman,
     President.
                                  ____



                                  People For the American Way,

                                 Washington, DC, January 23, 2004.
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the more than 600,000 
     members and activists of People For the American Way, we are 
     writing to oppose H.R. 1997, the ``Unborn Victims of Violence 
     Act.'' While purporting to protect pregnant women from 
     violence, this bill threatens the foundation of the landmark 
     Roe v. Wade decision by establishing legal ``personhood'' for 
     embryos and fetuses.
       Violence against pregnant women is tragic and deserves to 
     be punished. To this end, People For the American Way 
     strongly supports efforts to protect women from violence

[[Page H652]]

     and to address the fact that homicide is the leading cause of 
     death among pregnant women. However, the ``Unborn Victims of 
     Violence Act'' is not the answer, for it holds the noble goal 
     of protecting pregnant women from violence hostage to 
     language threatening women's right to choose.
       By contrast, the substitute bill that Rep. Lofgren offered 
     in the Judiciary Committee serves the goal of protecting 
     pregnant women without at the same time threatening women's 
     reproductive freedom. Like the underlying bill, Rep. 
     Lofgren's ``Motherhood Protection Act'' would authorize 
     additional penalties for violence against pregnant women--up 
     to 20 years when an embryo or fetus is injured and up to life 
     in prison if a pregnancy is terminated. Unlike the underlying 
     bill, however, the Lofgren substitute would not threaten Roe 
     by recognizing the embryo or fetus as a separate legal 
     ``person.''
       We strongly urge you to protect pregnant women and a 
     woman's right to choose. Oppose the Unborn Victims of 
     Violence Act and instead support the Motherhood Protection 
     Act. Pregnant women deserve additional protection against 
     violence, but they should not have to pay for it with their 
     reproductive freedom.
           Sincerely,
     Ralph G. Neas,
                                                        President.
     Marge Baker,
     Director of Public Policy.
                                  ____



                              National Organization for Women,

                                 Washington, DC, January 26, 2004.
     Honorable Member,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: The National Organization for Women 
     opposes H.R. 1997, formerly titled the Unborn Victims of 
     Violence Act of 2003 (UVVA) and now called Laci and Conner's 
     Law. This bill would advance the legal status of an embryo or 
     fetus, making it equal to that of a pregnant woman and, 
     consequently, would seriously erode the rights guaranteed 
     under Roe v. Wade.
       Through this legislation, sponsors are attempting to 
     establish in law the extreme view that the legal rights of an 
     embryo are separate from, and different from, the pregnant 
     woman's--and then to press for additional statutory 
     provisions that would overturn a basic tenet of the Roe 
     decision.
       The Supreme Court has held that fetuses are not legal 
     ``persons'' within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment of 
     the U.S. Constitution; this is an important holding that 
     should be safeguarded. Changing the criminal system to 
     include independent prosecution for injuring a fetus is a 
     dangerous legal precedent that would have broad implications 
     in limiting women's rights. A further defect is that there is 
     no requirement that the perpetrator knew of the pregnancy or 
     intended to harm the fetus. Without a showing of intent--a 
     key component of criminal law--prosecuting such cases would 
     be extremely difficult.
       In addition, H.R. 1997 does not provide additional 
     protections for pregnant women, who are often the target of 
     violent assault. If Congress truly wants to protect pregnant 
     women, then a revision is needed of the bill's language to 
     more appropriately focus on the woman. Over 20 states have 
     enhanced penalties for a crime against a pregnant woman that 
     results in a miscarriage or interruption of normal fetal 
     development. Congress could follow suit by increasing or by 
     directing judges to escalate the penalty according to the 
     gestational stage of the pregnancy when the harm was 
     inflicted.
       We believe that if UVVA is adopted, opponents of women's 
     reproductive rights fully intend to broaden the law to allow 
     women to be sued for harm to their fetuses--a frightening 
     scenario that is being tested in several states.
                                  ____



                                           Planned Parenthood,

                                 Washington, DC, January 23, 2004.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Congressman Nadler: As you know, on Wednesday, January 
     21st, the House Judiciary Committee marked-up the so-called 
     ``Unborn Victims of Violence Act,'' (H.R. 1997) passing the 
     bill out of committee. We greatly appreciate your help and 
     support in defeating this dangerous legislation.
       Planned Parenthood recognizes that the loss of a pregnancy 
     through violence to a woman is a tragedy for the woman and 
     her family. Violence against women, in particular pregnant 
     women, continues to be a significant problem in this country, 
     and begs for legislation that protects women against 
     violence. However, H.R. 1997 does nothing to protect women. 
     It purported aim, to protect ``unborn children'' from 
     violence, is misguided at best. On its face, this bill 
     creates a penalty for violation of a number of criminal 
     statutes if, in the course of commission of these crimes, an 
     ``unborn child'' is injured or killed. The dangerous reality 
     of the bill, however, is that it would elevate the legal 
     status of the fetus to that of an adult human being. This is 
     merely the first step toward eroding a woman's right to 
     choose. The loss of a wanted pregnancy is always a tragedy, 
     but solutions should be real, not political.
       Planned Parenthood fully supports a woman's right to 
     choose, including a woman's right to choose to carry a 
     pregnancy to term. Because H.R. 1997 does nothing to protect 
     women and because its clear intent is to create fetal 
     personhood, Planned Parenthood Federation of America opposes 
     this legislation. We believe that Congress should adopt a 
     more reasoned approach that would protect all women from 
     violence.
       Again, on behalf of the Planned Parenthood Federation of 
     America and the millions of women who use our services, I 
     want to thank you for strong opposition to this legislation. 
     If we can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact 
     our office.
     Sincerely yours,
                                                     Gloria Feldt,
                                                        President.

  Mr. Speaker, let me simply reiterate again and summarize this debate. 
Do we oppose violence against women? Obviously. Do we think that when 
someone assaults a pregnant woman and harms the fetus, it is an 
additional crime, a separate crime deserving of additional and separate 
punishment? Yes. Does the substitute make it a separate crime? Yes. 
Does the substitute give it additional punishment equal to or even more 
severe than in some cases in this bill? Yes.
  What is the difference here? The difference between the bill and the 
substitute is only that we believe it is a separate crime against the 
woman. The bill makes it a separate crime against a new victim, a 
separate victim, the fetus. It counts the fetus as a full person for 
the purpose of this crime, and every speaker who has risen on the 
opposite side has said that, and I agree that that is what it does. We 
disagree with that, because it goes against all of our legal tradition, 
and it goes against the rationale of the Supreme Court in upholding 
abortion rights; and its purpose is to lay the foundation for laws that 
would criminalize abortion because, after all, if the fetus is a 
person, then abortion is murder. It lays the foundation for laws that 
would restrict the liberty of pregnant women because, after all, if the 
fetus has rights equal to or superior to those of the pregnant woman, 
then we have to restrict her liberty and her actions to protect the 
fetus.
  These things we are not prepared to do, and that is the debate on 
this bill; and that is why I urge defeat of this bill and support of 
the Lofgren substitute.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 10 minutes to the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), who will close the general debate on this 
side.
  (Mr. HYDE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me say, I am very happy that 
the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) was never aborted. I am glad 
he is here. He stimulates the discussion. He is even fun, on occasion; 
and I am very glad that the gentleman survived.
  I also would like to say that yesterday, I heard two gentlewomen from 
the other side complain that they have kept a scorecard, and over 200 
times in the immediate years we have had to vote on abortion. That was 
a considerable annoyance to them, and I regret that. But I do not think 
any single issue defines the difference between the two sides better 
than that remark about having to vote 200 times on abortion, because 
that indicates that abortion is not all that important to them. After 
all, it is a thing. It is a commodity. It is a throw-away, used 
Kleenex; but it is not a life, a human life.
  Now, of course, we feel differently. We feel it is a human life. We 
feel it is entitled to respect and dignity, and it is entitled to due 
process of law. And, of course, they deny that.

                              {time}  1200

  So that concern that we have had to debate this issue too much, it 
seems to me, defines the positions of the two sides.
  Now, some years ago, in fact it was 1841, John Quincy Adams 
represented 35 slaves from the ship Amistad in a court proceeding where 
he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on their behalf, and he told 
the Court, he said, this is the most important case you will ever hear 
because it involves the very nature of man. Of course, he was talking 
about slaves, whom some people held to be commodities, chattels, things 
that could be bought and sold or thrown away if need be, but less than 
human, and so that case did involve the nature of man, and so do we.
  I am sorry that we get another check in the scorecard because we are 
discussing this one more time, but I will suggest to my friends on the 
other side,

[[Page H653]]

you will never get rid of this issue as long as there are people who 
are sensitive to the notion that all human life is precious and 
deserving of protection, especially the vulnerable, the weak, the 
small, the defenseless that cannot rise up in the streets, cannot 
escape, but is disposable by your ethic.
  I would like to see a little honesty in this debate. By that I mean 
stop with the euphemisms. Right to choose, my goodness, everybody's for 
the right to choose. It is what you are choosing that is important. 
There is only one choice, a dead baby or a live baby. But the right to 
choose is a process, it is not substantive.
  They refer to the unborn as a fetus or as the product of conception. 
All these euphemisms, these marketing tools, let us call it what it is. 
Why do you shy away from the word abortion? Abortion, the only time you 
use it is when you point the finger at us and say we are against 
abortion, and in that you are quite right.
  Well, Mr. Adams before the Supreme Court presented the question as to 
whether slaves were worthy of protection under the law, whether they 
had value, and that is the issue here. You deny personhood, which is a 
legal concept, to the unborn; when is a person a person when you do not 
really know. The Court took a pass on that, and of course you take it. 
It is a legal construct. A personhood belongs to the human aspect of 
life; not animal, not vegetable, not mineral, but a person, personhood.
  I assign personhood to a tiny entity, a fertilized egg. I guess it is 
very small, even premicroscopic, but it is the beginning of the human 
life, and if you deny that, you are kidding yourself, and you are 
clinically primitive because that is not so. You want to deny any 
dignity, any value, any status, any standing to an unborn child. Never 
mind the sonograph, never mind what your senses tell you, never mind 
that the pregnant woman knows she is carrying her baby, her baby. Never 
mind that, because it is tough to argue for killing, which is what 
abortion does. It kills a baby. You will not admit that. You will say 
it is an exercise of reproductive rights, apt alliterations, artful 
aid.
  Well, what we are talking about here in this bill is saying that 
little unborn child has value, that little unborn child is 
intrinsically precious and valuable and deserving of standing in the 
law and protection, and to deny that, of course, is no surprise for 
some of you. Some of you felt partial-birth abortion was okay. They are 
the babies fourth-fifths born and is almost out of the birth canal, and 
the means of killing that baby is grotesque, but if you can stomach 
that, well, a little thing like this ought to be no problem.
  Well, I say it is a problem, and I say we do not need permission to 
discuss it. We do not have to ask if it is already all right if we go 
201 times on this question. The dignity, the personhood, the substance 
of an unborn child is what we are speaking for, and you are denying it. 
You are saying it is subhuman, it is less than significant. I do not 
question anybody's motives, but I do question your judgment, your 
sensitivity and your imagination. You cannot imagine that little tiny 
speck of humanity as a member of the human family, and you get so 
locked into that non sequitur that as time goes on and it is almost 
born, you still cannot admit that it is a human life deserving of 
protection.
  So this is a good bill. It does not impact on a woman's right to 
choose because specifically it eliminates any impact this bill has on 
abortion, whether the doctor or the mother or not, and so it is really 
a no-brainer in that we spend so much time trying to dispute that a 
woman who is pregnant has another little party in her womb. It could be 
another gender. Woman is a female, and the baby is a male. It could be 
a different blood type. We spend a lot of money on doctors performing 
miracles of surgery to save little children, and here you want to 
justify throwing it away because somebody does not want it.
  Well, here is an opportunity to not restrict the liberty of a 
pregnant woman, but to enhance the sanctity of human life and defend 
what, under your rubric, would be defenseless.
  So I hope this bill passes. I regret the gentlewoman from 
California's (Ms. Lofgren) substitute because it dehumanizes, it 
desensitizes, it reduces in standing and status the unborn, who needs 
our protection more than anything in the world because they are alone 
and defenseless. So I hope that we support this bill, the underlying 
bill. I hope we defeat the substitute, which demeans the humanity of 
the little defenseless child who we should be standing with and holding 
up and defending.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the distinguished gentleman from Illinois 
for the passion he brings to this discussion, but more than that, for 
the clarity and honesty he brings to this discussion, for he has swept 
away much of the rhetoric and much of the underbrush which impedes a 
clear view of this and defined the real issue.
  This is a bill about abortion, as he quite clearly recognizes. Both 
the bill and the substitute have the same practical impact. They both 
define two crimes. They both define the same penalties. They both have 
the same deterrent effect. That is not the issue, as he recognizes.
  The bill defines the fetus as a person from the moment of conception. 
The substitute does not recognize the fetus as a person, for legal 
purposes, from the moment of conception. That is the difference, and 
that is the core of the abortion debate, as the distinguished gentleman 
recognizes.
  The people who believe abortion to be murder believe a fetus, a 
zygote, a blastocyst is a person, a full human person with full and 
equal and legal rights from the moment of conception. We do not. We do 
not use the euphemism ``a right to choose'' as a euphemism for 
abortion. We support a woman's right to choose to have an abortion if 
she wishes. We support a woman's right to bear a pregnancy to term if 
she wishes. That is why we say we support the right to choose.
  Abortion is clearly troubling emotionally and intellectually to many 
people. I, for one, and I can only speak personally, would find an 
abortion of a 9-month pregnant fetus, that is to say, a 9-month-old 
fetus, a horror, and I believe it is, in fact, illegal, except to save 
the life of the mother. On the other hand, I do not believe that a two-
cell zygote after conception is a human being. I do not believe that. I 
believe that it has the potential. It obviously has the potential to 
become a human being, but it is simply two cells, and I have no 
compunction about an abortion of a group of cells. I do not believe it 
to be a human being.
  That question, whether a small clump of cells or an embryo is a human 
being or not, is not a question that we are ever going to agree on. The 
chairman said the abortion debate is going to be with us forever, and I 
think he may be right, certainly a long time. We are not going to 
disagree on that question.
  The difference is I respect everyone's right to their opinion, 
whether informed by physiology, by religion, by morality, by their 
concept of morality, to make that decision for themselves as to how 
they regard a blastocyst or a zygote. Some religions declare it a 
human; some religions say no. I do not think it is the job of Congress 
to dictate to people how to make that very personal, moral decision. I 
believe that decision is one which must be left to a woman.
  If a woman says that, to me, as the woman, the embryo at early stage 
of development is a human being, and I will not have an abortion even 
if it risks my life, I will respect that decision. She is entitled to 
it. I would not support Congress coming in and saying we will save her 
life despite her will if she is competent because we do not agree with 
her moral decision. On the other hand, if she says, my moral decision 
is that I do not believe an early embryo or fetus is a human being and 
I want to have an abortion, that is her decision. I will not want 
Congress or the State legislature or the President to say, you are 
wrong morally, my moral conviction is superior to yours, and therefore, 
I will use the power of the State, the power of compulsion to put my 
moral conviction over yours. That is the debate here.
  This bill is mostly a sham. The distinguished gentleman from Illinois 
takes the sham away and says what is really at stake, what is really 
the issue, and the real issue is are we going to say, which we have 
never said before, we had that Biblical passage

[[Page H654]]

which I brought, as I said before, I do not think Congress ought to 
enact Biblical or religious law into civil law, but I brought it to 
show that in the Biblical times they did not regard a fetus as a 
person, because if you killed the fetus, you had monetary 
compensations. If the woman died, there was a capital punishment 
because the fetus is not regarded as a full person. That brought back, 
we have not regarded an Anglo-Saxon law, a Roman law up until now, a 
fetus as a full person.
  Now, because of the abortion debate that erupted 30 years or so ago, 
the last 30 years, people have tried to change the law to say that we 
should give legal recognition to the assertion that a fetus or an 
embryo from the moment of conception is a person for legal purposes. We 
do not agree with that. This bill would do that. Therefore, we are 
opposed to this bill.
  Some people have that opinion. Some people have that conviction. I 
respect the conviction. Some religions say so. I respect that. Others 
disagree. We should not use the power of law to impose that opinion, 
that theological opinion, that physiological opinion, that moral 
opinion on people who do not share it and wish to have abortions or 
other acts that may flow from that.
  That is the distinction here, and this bill is an abortion bill 
despite not what the gentleman from Illinois said, but some other 
people said, because, as I said before, the consequences of the 
defining a second crime, the substitute would do, giving a severe 
penalty, giving additional penalties, are the same in the bill and the 
substitute. The difference is the legal underpinning, and the only 
reason we care about the legal underpinning is because of what it says 
about the key distinction underneath the legal right to an abortion and 
the underpinning for Roe v. Wade.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. NADLER. I yield to the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman, I am sure, understands, because 
he is a good lawyer, that the unborn has legal status in probate 
matters where a pregnant woman is an heir or beneficiary and is 
pregnant and the interests of the child may be different. So a guardian 
ad litem is appointed. You understand that a woman can be pregnant, and 
her pregnant child could be injured in the womb and have a cause of 
action.

                              {time}  1215

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I understand, and I am 
not an expert in probate or estate law, but I do understand that as the 
fetus gets older, our law gives it more recognition. In fact, the 
Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade said in the first trimester the interest 
of the woman and her choice completely prevails, you cannot regulate 
abortion. In the second trimester there is more of an interest, and, 
therefore, you can regulate; and in the third trimester after 
viability, you can prohibit abortion. That is in Roe v. Wade because it 
recognizes that there is more interest that attaches. I do not deny 
that, and exactly how much attaches and so forth we can debate in a lot 
of contexts.
  What I am saying is that the definition of the fetus or the embryo as 
a human being, as a person, for purposes of law in all respects, which 
is what this bill would do, we have never done. We do not do now, we 
have never done, and in my opinion we should not because it is one 
conception. It is a defensible proposition, but it is not a proposition 
that many people and religions agree with, and it is not a proposition 
that we should impose by Congress pro or con. I urge adoption of the 
substitute, not the bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Watson).
  Ms. WATSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 
1997, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. The bill seeks to recognize a 
fetus at any stage of development as a person. I think we are all aware 
scientifically that a fetus cannot survive on its own like a person 
can. This bill is yet another covert attack on a woman's right to 
choose waged by extreme thinking. It sacrifices real protections for 
women at the expense of a politically driven agenda to undercut Roe v. 
Wade, and I strongly urge my colleagues to reject this antichoice bill.
  H.R. 1997 defines the phrase ``child in utero'' or ``unborn child'' 
as a fetus at any stage of development from conception to birth. In 
effect, the language undercuts Roe v. Wade, which held that a fetus 
even after viability is not a person for purposes of the 14th 
amendment. By creating a new Federal crime for bodily injury and/or 
death of an unborn child, the bill opens a new door of litigation over 
when life begins in the context of criminal prosecutions.
  H.R. 1997 also contributes little to the actual protection of women. 
Rather than enhancing penalties under existing law for criminal acts 
against pregnant women, the bill diverts the attention to the fetus. As 
Juley Fulcher of the nonpartisan National Coalition Against Domestic 
Violence stated in her testimony to Congress, ``The goal of the act is 
to further a specific political agenda. The result is that the crime 
committed against a pregnant woman is no longer about the woman 
victimized by violence.''
  Make no mistake about it, violence against women remains a serious 
issue in today's society, and Congress should address the issue. The 
statistics are shocking but true: The leading cause of death of 
pregnant women is murder. It is one of the reasons why I support the 
Lofgren substitute amendment that targets the crime of violence against 
pregnant women without falling into an antichoice trap. The substitute 
would create a separate and distinct crime for any violence or 
assaulting conduct against a pregnant woman that interrupts or 
terminates her pregnancy in addition to the assault on the pregnant 
woman. This is the appropriate approach to the issue. I strongly urge 
my colleagues to reject H.R. 1997 and support the Lofgren substitute.
  Mr. COLLINS. Mr. Speaker, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, H.R. 
1997, is a needed and important bill that must be passed.
  I believe that we must protect unborn children against acts of 
violence. It is for this reason that I have cosponsored H.R. 1997. 
Under current federal law, if a criminal assaults or kills a pregnant 
woman and causes death or injury to her unborn child, they face no 
consequences for taking or injuring that unborn life. The Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act would make any act that causes death of, or 
bodily injury to, a child who is in utero at the time the conduct takes 
place, guilty of a separate crime. If enacted, H.R. 1997 would afford 
protection to a completely defenseless life form, an unborn child, by 
creating a separate offense for acts of violence against the unborn 
child.
  We passed this bill by a solid majority in the last Congress. I am 
hopeful that this year, our Colleagues in the other body will be able 
to move this legislation and we can send a final bill to the President 
for him to sign into law.
  We have laws that protect men, women, and children from murder. We 
should have a law to protect the unborn, the most innocent and helpless 
of God's creations, from murder. This is a common-sense bill and a 
necessary bill. I'm proud to be a co-sponsor and proud to support this 
legislation.
  During the vote on H.R. 1997, had I not been traveling on 
Congressional business, I would have voted, ``yea'' on rollcall vote 
31, final passage for H.R. 1997. I would also have voted ``nay'' on 
rollcall vote 30, the Lofgren amendment.
  Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in full support of the Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act.
  Violence with the intent of injuring or killing a woman or any person 
is wrong and deserves the most severe penalty. Such an act of violence 
against a pregnant woman is an act against two lives and should be 
punishable as separate offenses.
  We need only look to the Lacy Peterson case in California for clear 
and compelling evidence for the justification of two separate offenses. 
Any person intent in causing harm or death through violence and crime 
against any life must be held accountable for every life.
  Mr. STARK. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to strongly oppose H.R. 1997, 
the so-called ``Unborn Victims of Violence Act.'' I am deeply 
disappointed that Republicans are using this controversial bill as a 
vehicle for their blatant attacks on a woman's right to choose.
  The Republican majority party could enact a number of serious and 
meaningful laws that prevent and punish violence against women. 
However, instead of bringing common-sense measures up for debate, anti-
choice lawmakers bring the Unborn Victims of Violence Act to the floor. 
It's perfectly clear why they're raising it. The Bush Administration--
along with Republicans in Congress--are trading the wishes of their 
conservative base for votes in the upcoming elections.
  This bill creates a separate Federal offense if, during commission of 
certain crimes, a person causes death or injury to what the sponsors of 
this bill call ``a member of the species

[[Page H655]]

homo sapiens at all stages of development.'' If this bill passes, it 
will for the first time in Federal law, recognize a zygote, blastocyst, 
embryo, and fetus as a ``person'' that can be an independent victim of 
a crime. This bill does this even though the Supreme Court ruled in Roe 
v. Wade that fetuses are not persons within the meaning of the 
Fourteenth Amendment.
  Let's be clear, this bill will not help address the serious issue of 
violence against women, which affects nearly one in every three women 
during their adulthood. If its intent were truly this, I would fully 
support it. In fact, domestic violence organizations, like the National 
Coalition Against Domestic Violence--that do not take positions on 
abortion--oppose this legislation.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act isn't the right solution. That's 
why I oppose it and will instead vote for the substitute being offered 
by my colleague Representative Zoe Lofgren. Her amendment, the 
Motherhood Protection Act, will help to prevent crimes against pregnant 
women, rather than embroil the issue surrounding the abortion debate. 
It would create a second Federal offense for harming a pregnant woman 
and would impose the same penalties for harm to, or termination of, a 
pregnancy as the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. But, importantly, the 
Motherhood Protection Act recognizes the pregnant woman as the primary 
victims of a crime rather than the fetus. This guarantees appropriate 
penalties in the law without getting us into a volatile, unnecessary 
debate over abortion.
  Further exploiting the issues of violence against women, anti-choice 
advocates have resorted to using the unfortunate case of Laci 
Peterson's murder to push the legislation--even though passage of the 
Unborn Victims of Violence Act has been one of their top legislative 
priorities since 1999, long before the Peterson tragedy. Any doubts 
about the sponsors' true motives were erased when Senator Orrin Hatch 
told a reporter: ``They say it undermines abortion rights. It does. But 
that's irrelevant.''
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act clearly fails to address the very 
real need for strong Federal legislation to prevent and punish violent 
crimes against women. Congress should be protecting pregnant women from 
violent crime without having to resort to controversial bills like the 
one before us. I ask my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this deceptive 
bill, which does nothing to thwart acts of violence, and vote ``yes'' 
on the substitute being offered today, a real remedy for assaults made 
against pregnant women.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, as a strong supporter of ending violence 
against women, I look forward to the day that this House debates 
legislation that will actually make women safer. Unfortunately, the 
main goal of H.R. 1997 is undermining the freedom of choice, rather 
than protecting pregnant women.
  I strongly oppose H.R. 1997, which provides that whoever causes the 
death of, or bodily injury to, a fetus, embryo, zygote, or otherwise 
fertilized cell would be guilty of a separate criminal offense, and the 
punishment would be the same as if the violent act had been committed 
against an adult. By elevating a fetus to the same legal status as an 
adult, this legislation seeks to recognize the existence of a separate 
legal ``person'' where none currently exists. This creates the legal 
ability to threaten the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. 
Moreover, H.R. 1997 does not recognize two victims but focuses solely 
upon providing legal protections for the fetus. the crime perpetrated 
against the woman is absent from the bill altogether.
  The issue of violence against women is a serious and concerning 
problem that deserves our attention and resources. I support the 
Democratic substitute to H.R. 1997, the Motherhood Protection 
amendment. Without unnecessarily engaging in the abortion debate, this 
substitute creates a new, separate federal offense for any violence or 
assault against a pregnant woman that interrupts or terminates her 
pregnancy. Crimes committed against pregnant women are heinous and 
should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, and the Democratic 
substitute accomplishes that without undermining the principles of Roe 
v. Wade.
  Given the broad attention that many members have focused on this 
particular issue of protecting women from violence, I am looking 
forward to similar support for the full funding of the Violence Against 
Women Act, which is currently funded 200 million dollars below the 
authorization level.
  I encourage my colleagues to support women both in their right to be 
protected from violence, and in their right to reproductive freedom: 
support the Motherhood Protection substitute, and oppose H.R. 1997.
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to defend a woman's right to 
choose and to oppose H.R. 1997.
  Once again, the Republican leadership is challenging a woman's 
constitutional right to make decisions regarding her own body.
  This is not new legislation; in fact, the anti-choice movement has 
forced the Unborn Victims of Violence Act through the House twice since 
1999.
  The bill's true purpose is not to address violent crime against 
pregnant women. It is, and always has been, a way of undermining 
freedom of choice.
  H.R. 1997 does not recognize two victims. The mother is notably 
absent from the bill altogether. In fact, H.R. 1997 does not require a 
conviction for the underlying crime against the woman; the crime 
against the woman could go unpunished.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act goes beyond its intent to protect 
pregnant women and negates all the good it could do by deliberately and 
unnecessarily conflicting the core principle of Roe v. Wade.
  I challenge may colleagues, male and female, to look at our 
Constitution and review the freedoms and civil rights that Congress has 
worked strenuously over our nation's history to protect.
  I support the Lofgren substitute because it recognizes the heinous 
crime of attacking a pregnant woman by creating a new offense to punish 
violence that results in injury to or termination of a pregnancy, in 
addition to the crime against the pregnant woman.
  I urge you to vote against H.R. 1997, The Unborn Victims of Violence 
Act because it chips away at all women's civil rights and freedoms 
which we must protect.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to 
H.R. 1997, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and in support of 
Representative Lofgren's substitute.
  On the surface, this bill appears to be an effort to protect pregnant 
women from violence. However, it actually does little to prevent 
violence against women, instead it dangerously opens the door to 
undermine a women's right to choose. The vast majority of domestic 
violence cases do not occur under federal jurisdiction, thus this bill 
would not help any of these women.
  I believe that if we are going to create a crime for causing harm 
during a woman's pregnancy, we should also include efforts to prevent 
violence against women without opening up the abortion debate. H.R. 
1997 does not provide protections for the mother; in fact the mother is 
hardly mentioned in the text of the bill. Instead it focuses solely on 
the ``child in utero.''
  The Lofgren substitute, on the other hand, achieves that which the 
Unborn Victims of Violence Act only attempts to do. That is to provide 
protection to pregnant women who are assaulted. And it does this 
without opening up the abortion debate. This substitute focuses on 
protecting women. Specifically, this substitute will make the assault 
of a pregnant woman which results in the interruption or termination of 
her pregnancy a federal offense. I believe the Lofgren substitute does 
a better job of achieving the intentions of H.R. 1997 supporters than 
the original bill. Not only does Representative Lofgren's substitute 
remove the abortion debate from this bill, but it provides protection 
for the mother and her pregnancy, not just the fetus.
  It is important to mention that this approach can only be used if the 
assailant has been convicted of the underlying offense, the assault to 
the mother. I believe that the best way to protect women from violence 
is not to attempt to provide legal rights to her fetus, but rather to 
protect the mother herself, and work to prevent domestic violence 
first.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act does not address the issue of 
violence against women. This bill will undermine a woman's right to 
choose, and have little affect on domestic violence in this country. As 
a result, I cannot vote in favor of this bill as it stands. This 
chamber needs to stand up against violence against women, especially 
pregnant women, and I believe Representative Lofgren's substitute does 
this. Thus, I will be voting in favor of this substitute and urge my 
colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 
1997, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act introduced by my colleague 
from Pennsylvania.
  The legislation before us today establishes that if an unborn child 
is injured or killed during the commission of a crime an additional 
charge may be brought on behalf of the second victim, the unborn child. 
Additionally, the bill stipulates that the same punishment be issued as 
provided for under Federal law for the crime committed against the 
mother.
  The principle behind this bill is justice. Justice for the unborn 
child and justice for those left behind to cope with the grief. 
Justice, Mr. Speaker, for both victims. Currently over half of the 
states, including my home state of Pennsylvania, have an unborn victims 
law on the books. These laws have received increased attention over the 
last year due to the Peterson case in California.
  Fortunately, California has an unborn victims law and thus the crimes 
committed against both Laci and Connor Peterson may be prosecuted and 
justice will be brought for both victims.

[[Page H656]]

  Additionally, Mr. Speaker, it should be noted that Americans have 
shown that they support unborn victims laws. Three nationwide polls, 
conducted in 2003 showed that respondents support unborn victims 
legislation by margins of 8 to 1 and in some cases as high as 12 to 1.
  The American people accept that an attack on a pregnant woman is not 
just an attack on her, but an attack on her unborn child as well. It is 
time for Congress to come to the same resolution.
  In conclusion, I want to extend my sincere thanks to my colleague 
from Pennsylvania, Congresswoman Hart. I appreciate her leadership on 
this issue.
  Mr. Speaker, the unborn cannot defend themselves when they are 
attacked, yet they are no less a victim. I urge my colleagues to stand 
up today to offer justice for all victims of violent crime.
  Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I rise this afternoon in 
support of victims without a voice, victims like Carol Lyons' grandson 
Landon. On January 7, 18-year-old Ashley Lyons and her unborn son, 
Landon, were murdered. When Ashley's mother Carol testified before the 
Kentucky Legislature's Senate Judiciary Committee on January 15 of this 
year she said,

       Noboby can tell me that there were not two victims. I 
     placed Landon in his mother's arms, wrapped in a baby blanket 
     that I had sewn for him, just before I kissed my daughter 
     goodbye for the last time and closed the casket.

  H.R. 1997, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act would provide that an 
individual who injures or kills an unborn child, like Landon, during 
the commission of one of nearly seventy specified federal crimes 
against the mother would be guilty of a separate offense against the 
unborn child. This is the right thing to do.
  There are too many families suffering like the Lyons' family, knowing 
that those responsible for the murder of their unborn child or 
grandchild will never be punished for the crime they committed. We must 
not allow Landon, and countless other unborn children's deaths to have 
occurred in vain. Today, we have the opportunity to protect the rights 
of the most innocent life, that of an unborn child.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning in strong support of the Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act and I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on 
H.R. 1997.
  Ms. CUBIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1997 and for 
America's voiceless unborn children. We are all familiar with the 
tragic stories like the plight of Laci and Conner Peterson, and Landon 
Lyons of Kentucky, as well as countless others. From these tragedies 
one thing should be clear: Unborn children can be brutally victimized 
through acts we already recognize as Federal crimes, and it is our duty 
to ensure justice is served on behalf of these innocent victims.
  In the unthinkable instance where a pregnant woman is physically 
harmed, it is a simple fact that more than one life is potentially at 
stake. The injury or death of a child who is still in utero is a crime 
that must not continue to go unprosecuted.
  We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to protect 
both women and the unborn children they might be carrying. When both a 
mother and her unborn child are the victims of crime, two people are 
harmed. The law needs to recognize this reality, and I hope my 
colleagues will do so by voting in favor of H.R. 1997.
  Recently, our Nation celebrated the 184th birthday of one of our true 
American heroes, Susan B. Anthony. Committed to the idea that all 
people should be treated equally, she worked for years to champion both 
the rights of women and unborn children. I can think of no better way 
to honor the great memory of Susan B. Anthony than by upholding the 
ideal of respect for the dignity of human life by supporting the Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act of 2003.
  Mr. TIAHRT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support for H.R. 
1997, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
  This important legislation would finally make it a separate Federal 
offense to cause death or bodily injury to a child in utero in the 
course of committing an already defined Federal offense. It is 
imperative that we hold criminals responsible for conduct that harms or 
kills an unborn child. I cannot understand the opposition to this bill. 
It will not affect abortion laws, it merely affirms that a violent act 
against a pregnant woman affects not only her but her unborn child as 
well. There are most certainly two victims in such crimes, as 24 States 
have already recognized.
  This issue that we have debated for the past couple of years finally 
caught the Nation's attention with the murders of Laci Peterson and her 
unborn son Conner. Americans strongly believe that there were two 
murders committed last December and that the law should reflect that. 
Laci's family has suffered two losses. Thankfully under California law, 
the murderer will be tried for taking two lives. This is not the case 
at the Federal level. Laci and Conner's family has asked Congress to 
rectify this. Laci's mother Sharon Rocha's heartfelt statement 
expresses the need for this law better than I can:

       Please understand how adoption of such a single-victim 
     proposal would be a painful blow to those, like me, who are 
     left to grieve after a two-victim crime, because Congress 
     would be saying that Conner and other innocent victims like 
     him are not really victims--indeed, that they never really 
     existed at all. But our grandson did live. He had a name, he 
     was loved, and his life was violently taken from him before 
     he ever saw the sun.

  The Peterson case, unfortunately, is only one of several. I am 
horrified by stories such as that of Tracy Scheide Marciniak who was 
only 4 days from delivering her baby boy Zachariah. Four days. For 9 
months she had been eagerly awaiting his arrival, planning for his 
birth and life, bonding with him in her womb. Unfortunately, her 
husband brutally attacked her, targeting a few blows specifically on 
her abdomen. Zachariah bled to death in her womb because of the blunt-
force trauma. Tracy nearly died herself but did recover from her 
injuries and had to bury her baby boy without ever getting a chance to 
see him alive. At the time Wisconsin did not have an unborn victims law 
so Glendale Black was convicted on assault to her alone and is now 
eligible for parole. The law did not recognize the loss of Zachariah's 
life and Glendale Black did not pay for his crime.
  Ohio is one of the States where it is a crime to kill an unborn child 
in a violent act. Unlike Zachariah, Jasmine Robbins' father was 
prosecuted for her manslaughter. Gregory Robbins assaulted his wife 
Karlene who was 8 months pregnant with their daughter Jasmine. He 
repeatedly struck her in the face and abdomen. Due to the assault, 
Karlene's uterus ruptured and Jasmine died. Gregory Robbins pled guilty 
to assault and battery to his pregnant wife and involuntary 
manslaughter for Jasmine's death.
  Jasmine's murder is no less tragic than Zachariah's but at least her 
mother did not have to suffer the heartbreak of not having her murder 
recongized under our laws.
  We live in a society that does not respect life and that troubles me. 
We have children killing children in our schools, husbands beating 
their wives, and other violent crimes signifying that we as a culture 
do not value and treasure life as we should. A good first step towards 
recognizing the miracle of life is to ensure that those who take a life 
are punished for their crime.
  We cannot bring back Conner, Zachariah or Jasmine or the other 
hundreds of unborn children violently murdered. We can, and must, 
however, protect other unborn children from the same fate. We must 
respect life and make criminals pay for attacks against all Americans, 
born and in utero.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, violence against women is a serious 
problem in this country. One in three women will experience physical 
assault in her lifetime, with even greater risks for pregnant women. 
Women carrying unintended pregnancies are two to four times more likely 
to experience abuse. Murder is the leading cause of death for pregnant 
women. An average of three women are killed every day by their husband 
or boyfriend. Women who experience domestic violence are more likely to 
delay prenatal care; 4.5 million women in America are assaulted every 
year.
  These figures are staggering and serious, but the bill under 
consideration today, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, does not take 
the risks women face seriously. This bill completely disregards women 
as the primary victim of violence. You cannot harm a fetus without 
causing physical harm to a pregnant woman first. If this body wanted to 
consider violence against women, pregnant or not, seriously, I have a 
few alternate suggestions. We could provide adequate funds for the 
Violence Against Women Act so that no woman seeking help will ever be 
turned away from a shelter. We should insure that victims of domestic 
violence have equal access to programs funded under the Victims of 
Crime Act. Additionally we should provide women with access to 
contraceptive services, to thereby preventing unintended pregnancies 
that make them more susceptible to these dangerous situations.
  All the title X funded clinics in my district, including Pima County 
Health Department Clinics, screen all women for domestic violence, 
provide appropriate counseling services, and refer women to local 
domestic violence agencies for additional services. They even provide 
small information cards in the private bathrooms that are designed for 
women to place in their shoes if they are at the clinic with an abusive 
partner. Title X clinics are one of our most valuable resources in 
reaching uninsured women who are victims of domestic violence. 
Unfortunately these programs are drastically under funded. If this 
Congress really would like to reach women in need, they would make 
funding for this program a priority.
  This bill is not a real solution. This bill only applies to cases of 
assault that occur under

[[Page H657]]

Federal jurisdiction. Between 1994 and 2000, only 130 Federal cases 
involved Federal domestic violence statutes. The public's broad support 
for preventing and prosecuting assault on women is being exploited for 
political purposes. This is an antiwoman bill. It disregards the 
woman's role in the pregnancy, and allows the law to ignore any harm 
inflicted upon her.
  I urge my colleagues to support the Lofgren substitute which offers 
real solutions and real penalties for tragic violence against women, 
and oppose final passage of this misguided bill.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the 
Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and I thank Representative Hart for 
introducing this important legislation, as well as Chairman 
Sensenbrenner for bringing this important legislation to the floor. 
This bill will convey to violent criminals the important message that 
when they inflict harm on a pregnant woman and her unborn child, those 
criminals will be accountable for the harm done--not only to the 
expecting mother, but also to the unborn child.
  It is unthinkable that under current Federal 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 during the commission of the crime. Where is the justice when a 
criminal can inflict harm upon a woman, even with the express purpose 
of harming her unborn child, and not be held accountable for those 
actions?
  The American public knows that this bill is necessary--recent polls 
have shown that approximately 80% of registered voters believed that 
prosecutors should be able to separately charge the violent attacker of 
a pregnant woman for the death of her unborn child. In addition, most 
States have recognized this problem by passing laws to protect unborn 
children--29 States, including my home State of Virginia, have seen the 
wisdom in holding criminals accountable for their actions by making 
violent criminals liable for conduct that harms or kills an unborn 
baby.
  Unfortunately, our Federal statutes do not sufficiently provide for 
the protection of unborn children and as a result the Federal 
punishment for these heinous crimes amounts to little more than a slap 
on the wrist. Criminals are held more liable for damage done to 
property than for intentional harm done to an unborn child. This 
discrepancy in the law is appalling. It's time for Congress to Act.
  Regardless of whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, those of us who 
are parents can identify with the hope that accompanies the impending 
birth of a child. No law passed by Congress could ever heal the 
devastation created by the loss of a child, or ever replace a child 
lost to violence. However, we can ensure that justice is done by making 
sure that criminals who take the life of an unborn child pays for their 
actions.
  I urge each of my colleagues to join me in voting for the Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, while it is the independent duty of each 
branch of the Federal Government to act constitutionally, Congress will 
likely continue to ignore not only its constitutional limits but 
earlier criticisms from Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, as well.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2001, H.R. 1997, would amend 
title 18, United States Code, for the laudable goal of protecting 
unborn children from assault and murder. However, by expanding the 
class of victims to which unconstitutional, but already-existing, 
Federal murder and assault statutes apply, the Federal Government moves 
yet another step closer to a national police state.
  Of course, it is much easier to ride the current wave of federalizing 
every human misdeed in the name of saving the world from some evil than 
to uphold a constitutional oath which prescribes a procedural structure 
by which the Nation is protected from what is perhaps the worst evil, 
totalitarianism. Who, after all, wants to be amongst those Members of 
Congress who are portrayed as soft on violent crimes initiated against 
the unborn?
  Nevertheless, our Federal Government is constitutionally, a 
government of limited powers. Article one, section eight, enumerates 
the legislative areas for which the U.S. Congress is allowed to act or 
enact legislation. For every other issue, the Federal Government lacks 
any authority or consent of the governed and only the State 
governments, their designees, or the people in their private market 
actions enjoy such rights to governance. The 10th amendment is brutally 
clear in stating ``The powers not delegated to the United States by the 
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the 
States respectively, or to the people.'' Our Nation's history makes 
clear that the U.S. Constitution is a document intended to limit the 
power of central government. No serious reading of historical events 
surrounding the creation of the Constitution could reasonably portray 
it differently.
  However, Congress does more damage than just expanding the class to 
whom Federal murder and assault statutes apply--it further entrenches 
and seemingly concurs with the Roe v. Wade decision--the Court's 
intrusion into rights of States and their previous attempts to protect 
by criminal statute the unborn's right not to be aggressed against. By 
specifically exempting from prosecution both abortionists and the 
mothers of the unborn--as is the case with this legislation--Congress 
appears to say that protection of the unborn child is not only a 
Federal matter but conditioned upon motive. In fact, the Judiciary 
Committee in marking up the bill, took an odd legal turn by making the 
assault on the unborn a strict liability offense insofar as the bill 
does not even require knowledge on the part of the aggressor that the 
unborn child exists. Murder statutes and common law murder require 
intent to kill--which implies knowledge--on the part of the aggressor. 
Here, however, we have the odd legal philosophy that an abortionist 
with full knowledge of his terminal act is not subject to prosecution 
while an aggressor acting without knowledge of the child's existence is 
subject to nearly the full penalty of the law. With respect to only the 
fetus, the bill exempts the murderer from the death sentence--yet 
another diminution of the unborn's personhood status and clearly a 
violation of the equal protection clause. It is becoming more and more 
difficult for Congress and the courts to pass the smell test as 
government simultaneously treats the unborn as a person in some 
instances and as a nonperson in others.

  In his first formal complaint to Congress on behalf of the Federal 
Judiciary, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said ``the trend to 
federalize crimes that have traditionally been handled in state courts 
. . . threatens to change entirely the nature of Federal system.'' 
Rehnquist further criticized Congress for yielding to the political 
pressure to ``appear responsive to every highly publicized societal ill 
or sensational crime.''
  Perhaps, equally dangerous is the loss of another constitutional 
protection which comes with the passage of more and more Federal 
criminal legislation. Constitutionally, there are only three Federal 
crimes. These are treason against the United States, piracy on the high 
seas, and counterfeiting--and, because the constitution was amended to 
allow it, for a short period of history, the manufacture, sale, or 
transport of alcohol was concurrently a Federal and State crime. 
``Concurrent'' jurisdiction crimes, such as alcohol prohibition in the 
past and federalization of murder today, erode the right of citizens to 
be free of double jeopardy. The fifth amendment to the U.S. 
Constitution specifies that no ``person be subject for the same offense 
to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb . . .'' In other words, no 
person shall be tried twice for the same offense. However, in United 
States v. Lanza, the high court in 1922 sustained a ruling that being 
tried by both the Federal Government and a State government for the 
same offense did not offend the doctrine of double jeopardy. One danger 
of unconstitutionally expanding the Federal criminal justice code is 
that it seriously increases the danger that one will be subject to 
being tried twice for the same offense. Despite the various pleas for 
federal correction of societal wrongs, a national police force is 
neither prudent nor constitutional.

  Occasionaly the argument is put forth that States may be less 
effective than a centralized Federal Government in dealing with those 
who leave one State jurisdiction for another. Fortunately, the 
Constitution provides for the procedural means for preserving the 
integrity of State sovereignty over those issues delegated to it via 
the tenth amendment. The privilege and immunities clause as well as 
full faith and credit clause allow States to exact judgments from those 
who violate their State laws. The Constitution even allows the Federal 
Government to legislatively preserve the procedural mechanisms which 
allow States to enforce their substantive laws without the Federal 
Government imposing its substantive edicts on the States. Article IV, 
Section 2, Clause 2 makes provision for the rendition of fugitives from 
one State to another. While not self-enacting, in 1783 Congress passed 
an act which did exactly this. There is, of course, a cost imposed upon 
States in working with one another rather than relying on a national, 
unified police force. At the same time, there is a greater cost to 
centralization of police power.
  It is important to be reminded of the benefits of federalism as well 
as the cost. There are sound reasons to maintain a system of smaller, 
independent jurisdictions--it is called competition and, yes, 
governments must, for the sake of the citizenry, be allowed to compete. 
We have obsessed so much over the notion of ``competition'' in this 
country we harangue someone like Bill Gates when, by offering superior 
products to every other similarly-situated entity, he becomes the 
dominant provider of certain computer products. Rather than allow 
someone who serves to provide value as made obvious by their voluntary 
exchanges in the free market, we lambaste efficiency and economies of 
scale in the private marketplace. Curiously, at the same time, we 
further centralize government, the ultimate monopoly and

[[Page H658]]

one empowered by force rather than voluntary exchange.

  When small governments becomes too oppressive with their criminal 
laws, citizens can vote with their feet to a ``competing'' 
jurisdiction. If, for example, one does not want to be forced to pay 
taxes to prevent a cancer patient from using medicinal marijuana to 
provide relief from pain and nausea, that person can move to Arizona. 
If one wants to bet on a football game without the threat of government 
intervention, that person can live in Nevada. As government becomes 
more and more centralized, it becomes much more difficult to vote with 
one's feet to escape the relatively more oppressive governments. 
Governmental units must remain small with ample opportunity for citizen 
mobility both to efficient governments and away from those which tend 
to be oppressive. Centralization of criminal law makes such mobility 
less and less practical.
  Protection of life--born or unborn--against initiations of violence 
is of vital importance. So vitally important, in fact, it must be left 
to the States' criminal justice systems. We have seen what a legal, 
constitutional, and philosophical mess results from attempts to 
federalize such an issue. Numerous States have adequately protected the 
unborn against assault and murder and done so prior to the Federal 
Government's unconstitutional sanctioning of violence in the Roe v. 
Wade decision. Unfortunately, H.R. 1997 ignores the danger of further 
federalizing that which is properly reserved to State governments and, 
in so doing, throws legal philosophy, the Constitution, the Bill of 
Rights, and the insights of Chief Justice Rehnquist out with the baby 
and the bathwater.
  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.
  Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 1997, 
the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
  A pregnant woman is one of the most vulnerable members of our 
society. Nearly one in three women report being physically assaulted 
during pregnancy and murder is the leading cause of death among 
pregnant women.
  H.R. 1997 does nothing to protect pregnant women from violence; 
rather, it creates a new cause of action on behalf of the unborn. The 
result would be a step backward for victims of domestic violence by 
once again diverting the attention of the legal system away from 
efforts to punish violence against women.
  The legislation would apply in a limited set of circumstances 
involving members of the Armed Forces and anyone who injures or kills a 
fetus during the commission of a crime under Federal jurisdiction. But 
it should be noted that similar bills have been introduced in various 
States that would cover anyone who harms or kills a fetus under any 
circumstances.
  Injury inflicted upon a fetus is accomplished by an assault on a 
woman; therefore punishment for such crimes should be prosecuted as 
crimes against women. Changing the criminal system to include 
independent prosecution for harming a fetus is a dangerous legal 
precedent, which could have broad implications in limiting women's 
rights.
  H.R. 1997 creates controversy around the issue of violence against 
women where none exists and therefore exposes the true intention of the 
bill's sponsors. Congress should take strong measures to protect all 
women from violence rather than using this backdoor approach to 
restrict a woman's right to choose. If we really want to punish 
violence against pregnant women, it should be done in a way that does 
not entangle this issue with the abortion debate.
  H.R. 1997 is the first step toward outlawing abortion. The real 
purpose of this legislation is not to deter and punish criminal conduct 
but to erode the reproductive rights of women. This bill is a thinly 
veiled attempt to undermine Roe v. Wade by establishing a distinct 
legal status for a fetus in Federal law.
  H.R. 1997 marks a major departure from current Federal Law by 
elevating the legal status of a fetus at all stages of development. It 
is an obvious attempt to add to Federal law the anti-choice definition 
of an ``unborn child'' as ``a member of the species homo sapiens, at 
any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.''
  Recognizing the fetus as an entity with legal rights independent of 
the pregnant woman would create future fetal rights that could only be 
used a against a pregnant woman, possibly putting the woman and fetus 
in conflict and placing the health, worth and dignity of the woman on a 
lower level than a weeks-old embryo. For example, this legislation 
could make it possible for a pregnant woman to be prosecuted for 
failing to protect her fetus from domestic violence committed against 
her.
  We all agree that criminals who attack pregnant women--including 
especially heinous attacks aimed at ending the pregnancy--should be 
punished for their actions. But H.R. 1997 is not needed to allow the 
vigorous prosecution of anyone doing harm to a pregnant woman. In fact, 
the measure does not even mention harm done to pregnant women.
  Any bill intended to battle such wanton criminal acts of cruelty 
should, as the legislation offered by Representatives Zoe Lofgren and 
John Conyers, Jr., does, speak of criminal acts ``interrupting the 
normal course of pregnancy'' or ``ending a pregnancy,'' not by trying 
to define a fetus as an ``unborn child.''
  If the supporters of H.R. 1997 were sincere about protecting a 
woman's pregnancy, they would not have stacked this bill full of 
language that serves no other purpose than to further their attempts to 
eliminate reproductive choice for U.S. women.
  H.R. 1997 shifts the focus from violence against women and elevates 
the fetus--even a zygote, blastocyst or embryo, perhaps before its 
existence is known to the woman--to a status equal with that of the 
adult woman, a full member of society, who suffers both the physical 
assault and the possible loss of a wanted pregnancy.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to reiterate my opposition to H.R. 1997 and the 
blatant assault on a women's right to choose.
  Mr. CARDOZA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in support of H.R. 
1997.
  Under current Federal law, a person who commits a crime of violence 
against a pregnant woman receives no additional punishment for killing 
or injuring the woman's unborn child. This is unacceptable.
  In my district, the death of Laci Peterson and her unborn son, 
Conner, shook the community of Modesto and the Nation. As much as we 
all hoped to find Laci alive and well, we now hope for justice. It is 
disturbing to think that in cases like hers, real justice cannot be 
achieved under existing Federal law.
  Fortunately, California already has a similar unborn victims of 
violence law, as do 28 other States. But the Peterson case underscores 
the need for congressional action. After meeting with Laci's mother, 
Sharon Rocha, I agree that we cannot allow the gap in Federal law to 
persist.
  The simple fact is that pregnant women are vulnerable, and we must do 
everything we can to protect them--and everything we can to punish 
those who do the unthinkable. We must be tough on crime, and especially 
tough on heinous crimes. This is an issue of justice. To me, there is 
no other issue here.
  I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today 
in opposition to H.R. 1997, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Mr. 
Speaker, the bill before us today needlessly politicizes a serious 
issue. Frankly, I am outraged that members of this body are being put 
in a position to take an abortion vote instead of enacting serious and 
meaningful laws to prevent and punish violent acts against pregnant 
women.
  Violent crimes against pregnant women are of a particularly heinous 
nature. This is something we can all agree on. However, to bog down 
this debate with abortion politics is disingenuous to say the least. 
The bill raises questions about the wisdom of my colleagues who support 
this bill. Is the goal to address the especially horrendous crime of 
harming a pregnant woman, or is the goal to generate an abortion-
related campaign issue?
  Supporters of this legislation will come to the floor today and tell 
us that their intentions are pure, they are not attempting to undermine

[[Page H659]]

Roe v. Wade. In fact, one prominent Senator stated, ``They say it 
undermines abortion rights. It does . . . but that's irrelevant.'' Mr. 
Speaker, that is not irrelevant. This is a back door attempt to chip 
away at a woman's right to choose and I wish the supporters of this 
legislation would just admit it.
  Now if the goal of this body is to pass meaningful legislation to 
prevent and punish those who assault pregnant women, I would urge my 
colleagues to vote ``yes'' on the Lofgren substitute. This substitute, 
based on H.R. 2247, addresses the real issue at hand. The substitute 
creates a separate Federal criminal offense for assaulting a pregnant 
woman resulting in injury or termination of a pregnancy. This bill 
could pass the House by a vote of 434-0, and fly through the Senate, 
landing on the President's desk within a week for signature.
  We have tried, Mr. Speaker, for the past two Congresses to pass 
legislation to protect pregnant women from violence and I have been a 
willing partner in those efforts. The injection of abortion politics, 
however, is getting in the way of passing meaningful legislation. It is 
time to stop playing politics and get something done. We have now 
reached a point when we are acting irresponsibly. We all know that the 
underlying bill will go nowhere in the Senate.
  It is time to do something. Let's save the abortion debate--and the 
politicking--for a later date.
  I urge my colleagues to support the Lofgren substitute and oppose 
this cynical election year tactic.
  Mr. McCRANE. Mr. Speaker, as an original cosponsor of the legislation 
before us, I rise in strong support of H.R. 1997, the Unborn Victims of 
Violence Act, which is also known as Laci and Conner's Law.
  Over the past year, Americans have followed the investigation into 
the deaths of Laci Peterson and her unborn son Conner. Under California 
law the killing of both mother and unborn child are crimes.
  However, under Federal law this is not the case. For example, if a 
criminal attacks a woman on a military base, and kills her unborn 
child, he can be charged only with the battery against the woman, 
because Federal law does not recognize the unborn child's loss of life.
  The mother cannot charge her attacker for the death of the baby she 
was carrying. Today, the House will seek to remedy this injustice. Laci 
and Conner's Law will establish that if an unborn child is injured or 
killed during the commission of an already-defined Federal crime of 
violence, then the assailant may be charged with a second offense on 
behalf of the second victim, the unborn child.
  Twenty-nine states have laws that protect unborn children, but the 
Federal government does not. I consider that unacceptable. This 
legislation will protect both pregnant mothers and their unborn 
children, and I urge my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA) 
is a Trojan Horse. While its sponsors claim that the bill will deter 
violence against pregnant women, the legislation actually does violence 
to the rights that women have to make reproductive choices. In fact, 
this legislation is not about deterring violence against pregnant 
women.
  Individuals who commit violent acts against pregnant women should be 
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I strongly agree that 
Congress should increase penalties for these types of crimes. That is 
why I am a cosponsor of the Motherhood Protection Act. This establishes 
higher penalties when violent crimes against pregnant women interrupt 
the normal course of pregnancy. These stiffer penalties are the same as 
penalties in UVVA.
  However, UVVA isn't designed to protect pregnant women from violent 
acts. It is crafted in order to undermine the right to reproductive 
choice by Federally recognizing a fetus with separate legal rights. 
That would be a big change that does nothing to deter violence. At this 
time, there is nothing in Federal law that gives separate legal rights 
to embryos or fetuses. There is no need to establish controversial, 
unprecedented Federal rights for embryos. Doing so, as UVVA does, 
radically changes the law without making any women safer.
  UVVA would not help women when they and their pregnancies suffer as a 
result of domestic violence. This proposal would only confuse and 
complicate juries. UVVA would make it more difficult to prosecute 
criminals than the approach in the Motherhood Protection Act. Congress 
should draw a bright line that assaults against pregnant women are 
especially wrong and will be prosecuted and punished with increased 
penalties. For these reasons, I oppose the Unborn Victims of Violence 
Act and urge my colleagues to support the Motherhood Protection Act.
  Mr. NORWOOD. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to encourage my colleagues in 
the House to do the right thing--to stand up in defense of expectant 
mothers and their unborn children against violent criminals--and 
support the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
  In the day leading up to this debate, ultimately to the vote on this 
very important bill, I have to admit--I've struggled.
  However, it's not the troubling facts or my position that I've 
struggled with Mr. Speaker--instead, I've struggled to find one good 
reason (any good reason) why this Congress and this Federal Government 
would continue to tell expectant mothers (mothers who have chosen 
childbirth and have every intention of seeing it through) that we can 
protect you against violent crime--but when it comes to your child . . 
. all we can say is, ``sorry, we can't help you.''
  Mr. Speaker, as folks back in my home state of Georgia say, ``that's 
as wrong as the day is long'' . . . It's high time we did something 
about this and passed this legislation.
  Yet, despite the facts and the very strong support of the American 
people for this bill, we continue to hear from a band of critics on the 
other side of the aisle insisting that this debate is really somehow 
about abortion . . . that even though this bill says absolutely nothing 
about any abortion law anywhere in our nation--that's really what this 
bill is all about.
  Well, the reaction of this country dentist from Georgia to that kind 
of nonsense is pretty simple: hogwash! This bill is about one thing and 
one thing only--letting America's expectant mothers know that the child 
they have chosen to give birth to is protected by this Federal 
Government against the dastardly acts of violent criminals.
  Mr. Speaker, I'm not struggling anymore. The answer is clear: there 
is no good reason that our government should allow this tragic double-
standard to continue.
  Again, I urge my colleagues in this body to do the right thing and 
vote in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
   Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my 
colleagues in support of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. It is 
imperative to ensure those ``most vulnerable'' in our society are, in 
fact, protected from criminal assailants, and that we impose a penalty 
when acts of violence against these unborn victims fall under Federal 
criminal law. Some claim this measure will infringe on a woman's right 
to choose. But currently, 29 States have statutes that criminalize the 
killing of a fetus or ``unborn child'', and none of these laws have 
affected States' practice of legal abortion. Criminal defendants have 
brought many legal challenges to the state unborn victims laws, based 
on Roe v. Wade and other constitutional arguments, but all such 
challenges have been rejected by State and Federal courts. We cannot 
turn our backs on mothers, fathers, and grandparents across our Nation 
who lose unborn babies due to heinous acts of violence every year. This 
will serve as an additional deterrent to crimes against pregnant women. 
I commend the sponsors and leadership for bringing this to the floor 
and I urge an ``aye'' vote.
  Mr. BURTON. Mr. Speaker, today we passed legislation to protect the 
unborn from acts of violence. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, H.R. 
1997, sends a clear and strong statement that anyone who injures or 
kills unborn children is committing a crime. I wish my fellow 
colleagues would join me in making as equally strong a statement when 
it comes to injuring our children by injecting them or their mothers or 
their fathers with vaccines containing the mercury-based preservative 
Thimerosal.
  Over the last several years, I have conducted 19 hearings on vaccine 
safety and the detrimental health effects of other mercury-containing 
medical products. On May 21, 2003, my subcommittee's 80-page report 
entitled, ``Mercury in Medicine--Taking Unnecessary Risks'' was 
published in its entirety in the Congressional Record. This study was 
the result of a 3-year investigation initiated during my tenure as the 
chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, and it outlines 
the undeniable connection between mercury in all its forms and possible 
permanent health risks, including brain and kidney damage.
  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, developing fetuses 
and young children are the most vulnerable and susceptible to the 
potential harms of mercury damage. Because of this, a joint statement 
was issued in July 1999 by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the 
U.S. Public Health Service, ``recommending removal of Thimerosa from 
vaccines as soon as possible (CDC, 1999).'' It is now 2004, and there 
are still at least 3 vaccines on the pediatric schedule that still 
contain Thimerosal (flu, Hib/HepB, and DtaP).
  In 2001, the Institute of Medicine conducted an Immunization Safety 
Review meeting on safety concerns regarding Thimerosal. In their 
report, it was concluded in their ``Recommendations Regarding the 
Public Health Response'' section that ``. . . a causal relationship 
between Thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders 
. . . is biologically plausible.''
  I believe that it is good public policy and simple common sense for 
this House to

[[Page H660]]

strongly assert that all United States Health Agencies should take 
concrete steps to eliminate the usage of mercury in any capacity, 
particularly from all vaccines and dental amalgams. I believe that it 
is good public policy and simple common sense for this House to 
strongly assert that any vaccinations provided under or purchased for 
the Vaccines for Children Program be completely devoid of Thimerosal.
  Numerous scientists have testified that there is a simple way to do 
this, and that is to only use single-shot vials--those little glass 
containers. Manufacturers would not have to put Thimerosal or any other 
preservative in their vaccines if they switched to the single-shot 
vials. Moving to single-shot vials could have an enormously positive 
impact in helping to minimize, perhaps even eliminate, some cases of 
Alzheimer's, autism, and other neurological disorders linked to 
mercury.
  This is something that the pharmaceutical companies must address. Our 
Food and Drug Administration and health agencies are asleep at the 
switch. They are letting children and adults be damaged day after day 
after day by allowing mercury to continue to be put into vaccines for 
adults and children.
  We have a growing number of people who are being diagnosed with 
Alzheimer's, a dramatically growing number. We have 1 in 10,000 
children 10 years ago that were autistic, now it is 1 in 150. And 
scientists before my Committee on Government Reform Subcommittee on 
Human Rights and Wellness say it is in large part because of the 
mercury in the vaccines. We have to get the FDA on the stick. They have 
to demand that pharmaceutical products containing mercury have the 
mercury taken out of them very, very quickly. If not, we are going to 
continue to have an epidemic on our hands that America does not need 
and should not tolerate.
  Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1997, the 
Unborn Victims of Violence Act and want to thank my colleague from 
Pennsylvania for introducing it.
  Sadly, in America today 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 while committing the 
crime. America's mothers and their unborn children deserve better. When 
the crime involves two victims, the law must protect and provide 
justice for both.
  The legislation we are considering today, H.R. 1997 would make it a 
separate Federal crime to hurt or kill an unborn child during the 
commission of a Federal crime against a pregnant woman. Over half of 
the States in our country currently recognize both the mother and the 
unborn child as victims of violent crimes.
  In fact, just last week the Commonwealth of Kentucky enacted a fetal 
homicide law in response to public attention to a recent tragedy in 
that State where 18-year-old Ashley Lyons and her unborn son, Landon, 
were killed.
  As both a strong supporter of victim's rights and a pro-life 
advocator, I recognize that the voices of members of families who have 
lost loved ones--born and unborn--in crimes of violence, are an 
important part of the debate over this important bill.
  Carol Lyons, Ashley's mother, says,

       Nobody can tell me that there were not two victims--I 
     placed Landon in his mother's arms, wrapped in a baby blanket 
     that I had sewn for him, just before I kissed my daughter 
     goodbye for the last time and closed the casket.

  The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed this bill in 1999 
and again in 2001. In both cases, it was never brought up for a vote in 
the Senate.
  However, this year we finally have an opportunity to finally enact 
this legislation into law. Recent violent crimes involving the murder 
of young pregnant women and their unborn children have captured 
national attention and brought to light the judicial plight family 
members of victims face when they seek justice.
  I also strongly oppose the substitute amendment being offered by 
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. Her amendment fails to recognize the unborn 
child as a victim of a crime, even in circumstances when the 
perpetrator acts with specific intent to kill the unborn child. A vote 
in favor of the Lofgren substitute is a vote to codify the doctrine 
that an attack on a pregnant woman has only a single victim, even when 
the mother survives and the baby dies.
  Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, as legislators, it is our responsibility to 
stand up and protect innocent members of society. Presently, an 
individual who commits a Federal crime against a pregnant woman 
receives no additional punishment for killing or injuring the woman's 
unborn child while committing the crime.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act protects pregnant women and their 
unborn babies. The current Federal law is unjust, and Laci and Conner's 
Law will protect women from further abuse. This new law will send the 
right message that both a mother and a child should be protected.
  Right now, the law says that the pregnant mother is the only victim 
in a crime, and nothing could be further from the truth. There are two 
victims harmed in this crime, the mother and her unborn baby. As a 
cosponsor of this legislation, I will work to ensure it is enacted into 
law this year.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gillmor). All time for general debate on 
this bill having expired, it is now in order to consider the amendment 
printed in part B of House Report 108-427 by the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Lofgren).


     Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute Offered by Ms. Lofgren

  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I offer an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment in 
the nature of a substitute.
  The text of the amendment in the nature of a substitute is as 
follows:
  Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Ms. Lofgren:

       Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
     following:

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Motherhood Protection Act of 
     2004''.

     SEC. 2. CRIMES AGAINST A WOMAN THAT AFFECT THE NORMAL COURSE 
                   OF HER PREGNANCY.

       (a) Whoever engages in any violent or assaultive conduct 
     against a pregnant woman resulting in the conviction of the 
     person so engaging for a violation of any of the provisions 
     of law set forth in subsection (c), and thereby causes an 
     interruption to the normal course of the pregnancy resulting 
     in prenatal injury (including termination of the pregnancy), 
     shall, in addition to any penalty imposed for the violation, 
     be punished as provided in subsection (b).
       (b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is--
       (1) if the relevant provision of law set forth in 
     subsection (c) is set forth in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of 
     that subsection, a fine under title 18, United States Code, 
     or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both, but if 
     the interruption terminates the pregnancy, a fine under title 
     18, United States Code, or imprisonment for any term of years 
     or for life, or both; and
       (2) if the relevant provision of law is set forth in 
     subsection (c)(4), the punishment shall be such punishment 
     (other than the death penalty) as the court martial may 
     direct.
       (c) The provisions of law referred to in subsection (a) are 
     the following:
       (1) Sections 36, 37, 43, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 229, 242, 
     245, 247, 248, 351, 831, 844(d), (f), (h)(1), and (i), 
     924(j), 930, 1111, 1112, 1114, 1116, 1118, 1119, 1120, 1121, 
     1153(a), 1201(a), 1203(a), 1365(a), 1501, 1503, 1505, 1512, 
     1513, 1751, 1864, 1951, 1952(a)(1)(B), (a)(2)(B), and 
     (a)(3)(B), 1958, 1959, 1992, 2113, 2114, 2116, 2118, 2119, 
     2191, 2231, 2241(a), 2245, 2261, 2261A, 2280, 2281, 2332, 
     2332a, 2332b, 2340A, and 2441 of title 18, United States 
     Code.
       (2) Section 408(e) of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 
     (21 U.S.C. 848).
       (3) Section 202 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 
     2283).
       (4) Sections 918, 919(a), 919(b)(2), 920(a), 922, 924, 926, 
     and 928 of title 10, United States Code (articles 118, 
     119(a), 119(b)(2), 120(a), 122, 124, 126, and 128).

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 529, the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren) and the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren).
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, let us be clear, on its face, the Unborn Victims of 
Violence Act appears to be a tool to prevent assault against pregnant 
women and nonconsensual termination of pregnancy. Upon closer 
examination, it is obvious that the purpose of the bill is to conflict 
with the core principles of Roe v. Wade.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act focuses on, legally recognizes a 
fetus, an embryo, a blastocyst, a fertilized egg as a person with 
rights and interests separate from and equal to those of the woman.
  Today I offer a substitute that my colleagues and I hope can unify 
Members on both sides of the debate over choice to achieve a very 
important goal, the deterrence and punishment of violent acts against 
pregnant women.
  According to the purported goals of H.R. 1997, that is our common 
ground, but it is clear that the purpose of H.R. 1997 is not actually 
to achieve the purported common goal of protecting pregnant women from 
assault. If that were the case, we would all vote today

[[Page H661]]

for the Lofgren substitute and begin to ensure that women across the 
country are safe from violence.
  The Lofgren substitute does not threaten Roe v. Wade, but instead 
creates a new separate offense for any violent or assaultive conduct 
against a pregnant woman that interrupts or terminates her pregnancy. 
The substitute provides that any termination in the pregnancy is 
punishable by a fine and imprisonment of up to 20 years, and if the 
pregnancy is terminated, even if unintentionally, the assailant can be 
sentenced to life in prison. These penalties are even tougher than 
those provided for in the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
  Those of us who have experienced a miscarriage understand a very 
essential truth: The loss is something you never forget. Whether the 
woman is 6 weeks pregnant or 6 months pregnant, the loss is acutely 
felt by that woman, and it deserves the full penalty that the law can 
provide.
  Penalties under H.R. 1997, however, vary depending upon the 
underlying crime resulting in inconsistent penalties for the same 
horrific crime. In fact, under H.R. 1997, if a postal worker was 
assaulted and there is a resulting injury to her pregnancy, there is 
only a maximum penalty of 3 years; but if the same assault happened to 
another Federal employee, her assailant could get up to 8 years in 
prison under H.R. 1997. Why should the penalty for injury to one 
pregnant woman over another depend upon where she works? It defies 
logic and reason.
  Unlike the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the Lofgren substitute has 
tough, consistent penalties for the same horrific crime, regardless of 
irrelevant circumstances like the place of employment. A loss or injury 
to a pregnancy is the same loss to a woman no matter where she works.
  Mr. Speaker, advocates for H.R. 1997 say their bill is about 
protecting women from violence. In fact, the bill ignores women. H.R. 
1997 does not address the woman nor the assault committed against her. 
Under H.R. 1997, there is a possibility that the crime against the 
woman could go unpunished because there is no conviction requirement 
for the underlying crime. How can the other side say they are 
preventing crime against pregnant women when you ignore her and the 
crime against her?
  Mr. Speaker, the bottom line is the Lofgren substitute does not 
needlessly interject the abortion debate and exploit what is concededly 
a matter of a pregnant woman's right to a safe, healthy and free from 
horrific acts of violence pregnancy.
  Although many have said that the underlying bill has nothing to do 
with abortion, I think it is important to look at what some of the 
proponents of the antichoice movement have said about the bill, and I 
would like to quote Samuel Casey, the executive director of the 
Christian Legal Society, who said last year, ``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.''
  Joe Cook, vice president of the American Association of Pro Life 
Obstetricians & Gynecologists, said last year, ``We have to approach 
this in a way that is doable, a step at a time. This bill is aimed at 
establishing that a fetus in utero is a human being and has human 
rights.''
  Finally, Senator Orrin Hatch said last year, ``They say it undermines 
abortion rights; it does, but that is irrelevant.'' Irrelevant perhaps 
in the other body, but not to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I support legislation that has the goal of protecting a 
pregnant woman from violence. I cannot do so through legislation that 
would also undermine other extremely important rights of women, like 
the right to choose. That is antithetical to the protection and safety 
of women.
  I hope we can come together on this substitute. Last Congress there 
were a number of antichoice Members of the House that voted for the 
substitute, understanding that the penalties are more severe and would 
provide more complete protection for women. I urge those individuals to 
do so again to show this country that Congress is serious about 
protecting pregnant women from violence.
  We have in this country and in this House strong disagreement about 
who gets to decide whether a pregnancy will be brought to term or not, 
the Congress or the woman. That debate is going to go on for a long 
time, but it does not have to be part of this discussion. We can come 
together to protect women against violence without having the argument 
about abortion involved in that effort. I hope that we can come 
together to embrace common ground on what I think could be a moment of 
triumph for this Congress and for the American people in standing 
against violence against women.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the substitute amendment should be soundly defeated as 
it would throw salt into the wounds of those parents who have implored 
this Congress to recognize under Federal law the loss of their loved, 
unborn child.
  These mothers are not seeking recognition of the violence they have 
suffered alone. They are seeking recognition of the violence their 
unborn children have suffered as well. They are seeking recognition of 
the loss of their unborn child.
  H.R. 1997 recognizes that loss; the substitute does not. This House 
has defeated this substitute amendment each time it has been brought 
up, with increasing margins during the 106th and 107th Congresses. We 
should increase that margin today.
  A recent Fox News poll asked, ``If Scott Peterson is convicted of 
killing his pregnant wife, Laci, do you think he should be charged with 
one count of homicide for murdering his wife, or two counts of homicide 
for murdering both his wife and his unborn son?'' An overwhelming 84 
percent of the American people responded that two counts, not one, 
should be brought.
  These results are confirmed by two other recent polls that show 
support for two separate charges for violent criminals who harm mothers 
and their unborn children. Support for a separate charge for an unborn 
victim is 84 percent, according to a Newsweek poll, and 79 percent, 
including 69 percent of those who describe themselves as prochoice, 
according to another Fox News poll conducted in July. Each poll found 
that less than 1 in 10 Americans disagree.
  I would ask my colleagues to join with the overwhelming majority of 
Americans who have responded to these polls, including those who 
describe themselves as being prochoice, to reject this amendment and 
not join with the very small minority, less than 1 in 10 of those who 
are polled, who would support the one-victim approach.

                              {time}  1230

  This substitute amendment embodies the extreme ideology of those who 
are unwilling to recognize an unborn child in the law in any context 
whatsoever. The term ``unborn child'' as used in H.R. 1997 has been 
widely used and accepted by judges, including the Supreme Court, and 
Justice Blackmun, the author of the Roe v. Wade decision itself. The 
term ``unborn child'' has been widely tested in court and has sustained 
all constitutional challenges in terms of a fetal homicide law. 
Removing that term and replacing it with the vague and untested 
language of the substitute would accomplish nothing, while risking 
grave confusion and jeopardizing the conviction of violent Federal 
criminals. The abstract language in the substitute, which points to 
injuries to a ``pregnancy,'' ignores the fact that violent criminals 
can and do inflict injuries on a real human being in his or her 
mother's womb. If an assault is committed on a Member of Congress and 
her unborn child subsequently suffers from a disability because of the 
assault, that injury cannot accurately be described as an abstract 
injury to a pregnancy. It is an injury to an unborn child. The bill 
recognizes that. The substitute does not.
  Also, unlike the language of H.R. 1997, the substitute contains no 
exceptions for abortion-related conduct, for conduct of the mother, or 
for medical treatment of the pregnant woman or her unborn child. This 
omission leaves

[[Page H662]]

the substitute amendment bare to the charge that it would permit the 
prosecution of mothers who have abortions who inflict harm upon 
themselves and their unborn children or doctors who incidentally kill 
or injure unborn children during the provision of medical treatment. 
For that reason, the substitute amendment will certainly be subject to 
a successful constitutional challenge. The underlying bill has been 
tested and proven constitutional.
  Today's debate is not about penalties. It is about victims. H.R. 1997 
recognizes unborn victims of violence. The substitute does not. In the 
name of unborn victims, including Conner Peterson, Heaven Lashay Pace, 
Zachariah Marciniak, Landon Lyons and the others who are not named 
today but are known and loved and missed by their surviving family, the 
substitute should be soundly defeated and the bill passed.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. 
I would note that on line 6 on page 1 of the amendment, it notes that 
whoever engages in any violent or assaultive conduct against a pregnant 
woman resulting in the conviction of the person so engaging does not 
include an abortion that is legal because of Roe v. Wade.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Woolsey).
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I stand here today strongly supporting the 
Lofgren substitute. The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) is right, my 
colleagues and I have considered an unbelievable number of antichoice 
proposals over the last few years, including 200 since the Republicans 
took over the House of Representatives.
  These proposals have troubled me; but this bill, the bill that we are 
considering today, is perhaps the most disconcerting of them all. 
Instead of openly admitting what they are attempting to do to a woman's 
reproductive freedoms, proponents of this bill are exploiting a 
senseless and tragic crime to make their true intentions hidden. Let me 
be clear. We all oppose violence against women, and we all understand 
that a violent attack on a pregnant woman is an especially heinous act 
that deserves a uniquely harsh punishment. But that is not what the 
underlying legislation is about.
  Our constituents deserve an honest debate about this proposal and 
some very honest information. I am sure that many people assume that 
this legislation if it were approved would have an impact on the tragic 
case in California after which this case is named. People also probably 
assume it would create an effective new tool to prosecute many domestic 
abusers who harm their pregnant wives or girlfriends. That is simply 
not true. Women are the victims of violence across the country every 
day, but rarely does this violence fall in the jurisdiction of Federal 
courts. Unless a fetus is harmed in the commission of a violent Federal 
crime, this bill will not apply.
  Considering that this new law would rarely be applied, you may 
wonder, then, why are we here today talking about it? We are here to 
undermine the fundamental protections of Roe v. Wade with platitudes 
about violence against women thrown on as window dressing. If this bill 
passes, a 2-hour-old fertilized egg will have the same rights as the 
woman bearing it. Antichoice forces have been very open and honest 
about their strategy for turning back the clock on reproductive freedom 
in this country. In fact, we have heard many of the underlying bill's 
proponents tell you that the egg is a human. By declaring that even a 
fertilized egg is a person, proponents are laying the groundwork for 
undermining women's ability to make their own medical choices and 
decisions.
  Thankfully, we have an opportunity to address horrific acts of 
violence against pregnant women without undermining the woman's ability 
to control her own body. This ability is through the Lofgren 
substitute, which establishes appropriately harsh penalties for those 
who violently harm pregnant women without reducing her rights to that 
of a fertilized egg. We should not be debating this today. We should be 
debating and approving policies that will help keep every woman safe in 
her own home and ensure that every pregnancy is a healthy one. I urge 
my colleagues to join me in supporting the Lofgren substitute and 
opposing the underlying bill. This bill is nothing but an exploitive 
attempt to end reproductive freedom.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 7 minutes to the gentleman 
from Ohio (Mr. Chabot), the distinguished subcommittee chairman.
  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time. This substitute amendment should be soundly defeated. The 
substitute amendment appears to operate as a mere sentence enhancement 
authorizing punishment in addition to any penalty imposed for the 
predicate offense. That is most unfortunate. No sentencing enhancement 
can adequately express society's disapproval for the distinct loss that 
occurs when a mother's unborn child is harmed or killed by a violent 
criminal. A loss that is both unique and uniquely offensive to both a 
loving expectant mother and to the vast majority of Americans warrants 
a unique and separate offense under the criminal law. H.R. 1997 
provides for a separate offense. The substitute does not.
  Indeed, the witnesses we heard from in committee supporting H.R. 
1997, this bill, have told us that they are not Republicans or 
Democrats, they are not lawyers, they are people who have lost unborn 
children to violence, and they want those children treated 
appropriately under the law. That is precisely what H.R. 1997 does. The 
substitute does not.
  Sharon Rocha, the mother of Laci Peterson and the grandmother of 
unborn victim, Conner Peterson, has written that ``the Lofgren proposal 
would enshrine in law the offensive concept that such crimes have only 
a single victim, the pregnant woman.''
  Shiwona Pace, whose unborn child, Heaven, was brutally murdered by 
three hired hitmen, has said, ``It seems to me that any Congressman who 
votes for the one victim amendment is really saying that nobody died 
that night. And that is a lie.''
  Those who focus this debate on penalties and abstract terms such as 
harm to a pregnancy rather than to an unborn child misunderstand the 
purposes of the criminal law. The criminal law does not exist only to 
punish criminals; it exists to lend dignity to victims, including 
unborn victims. It is an expression not only of society's disapproval 
of certain conduct, but of its recognition of the victims of such 
conduct and the manner in which such victims should be recognized. 
Creating a separate offense for harm to an unborn child forces all of 
us, including potential criminals, to consider the act of harming an 
unborn child as an independent evil.
  A Newsweek poll found that only 9 percent of those surveyed, less 
than one in 10 Americans, oppose a separate offense for killing an 
unborn child. Those 9 percent of Americans should be heard, of course; 
and they have been heard through this substitute amendment. But they 
must not win, as the law exists in large part to reflect America's 
overwhelmingly shared values, and those shared values support separate 
charges for the killing and injuring of wanted, unborn children.
  I ask, looking at this picture, this is Tracy Marciniak that we have 
talked about. This is her unborn child here, Zachariah. Tracy was 
attacked by her husband when she was 8 months pregnant with this child. 
Tracy survived her physical injuries. The child died that night. I ask 
you, this is the funeral of this child. There is Tracy holding her 
child. How many victims do we see in this photograph? I think it is 
clear, there are two victims in that photograph. This legislation that 
we are addressing here today recognizes two victims. The substitute 
amendment does not.
  The terminology in the substitute amendment is hopelessly confusing; 
and if adopted, it will almost certainly jeopardize any prosecution 
involving the injuring or killing of an unborn child during the 
commission of a violent crime. The substitute amendment provides an 
enhanced penalty for ``interruption to the normal course of the 
pregnancy resulting in prenatal injury, including termination of the 
pregnancy.'' The amendment then authorizes greater punishment for an 
interruption that terminates the pregnancy than it does for a mere 
interruption of a pregnancy. What exactly is

[[Page H663]]

the difference between an interruption of a pregnancy and an 
interruption that terminates the pregnancy? The substitute does not 
say. Does any interruption of a pregnancy not necessarily result in a 
termination of the pregnancy? Or have the supporters of this amendment 
somehow succeeded in mastering the science of suspended animation? By 
defining an interruption to the normal course of the pregnancy, the 
substitute is either science fiction or simply impossible for Federal 
prosecutors to decipher and apply.
  The substitute amendment is a moral failure in that it refuses to 
recognize that unborn children can be victims of violence. It is a 
drafting failure in that its ambiguous terminology would leave 
prosecutors at a loss as to how to administer it. And it is a 
constitutional failure in that it contains no exceptions for abortion-
related conduct. The substitute should be soundly defeated.
  In my view, it all comes down and this entire debate is best summed 
up in a single photograph. Whether or not there are two victims in this 
photograph or only one is the issue that is at hand. The majority in 
this House, as we have had it here twice before and it has passed with 
pretty overwhelming numbers, the majority of us see the clear 
indication in this picture that there are two victims. The substitute 
amendment, and it is craftily worded, but ambiguous enough that 
prosecutors have indicated that successfully prosecuting an offense 
under the substitute is virtually impossible; but the people that 
support that particular substitute amendment are indicating in essence 
that there is only one victim here. I think common sense should 
prevail. There are two victims.
  I would strongly urge my colleagues to defeat the substitute 
amendment and pass the underlying bill.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I would just note that just for corrective 
purposes, the Lofgren substitute does provide for a separate offense, 
not a sentence enhancement.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from Wisconsin (Ms. 
Baldwin), a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the 
Lofgren substitute to H.R. 1997. Violence against women remains 
epidemic in our society. According to a Commonwealth Fund survey, 
nearly one out of every three adult women experiences at least one 
physical assault by a partner during adulthood. Acts of violence 
committed against pregnant women are especially heartbreaking and 
abhorrent. Congress should and must focus sharply on efforts addressing 
this issue.

                              {time}  1245

  But we can address this issue without tangling it in the abortion 
debate. And the gentlewoman from California's (Ms. Lofgren) substitute 
does exactly that. It focuses on the crime of violence against the 
pregnant woman without undermining a woman's right to choose. The 
substitute creates a separate and distinct crime for any violent 
assault against a pregnant woman that harms or ends her pregnancy, in 
addition to the assault of the pregnant woman.
  Most importantly, this substitute avoids the issue of fetal rights 
and fetal personhood. It correctly recognizes that the pregnant woman 
is the primary victim of an assault that causes harm to, or termination 
of, her pregnancy. In this way, the substitute we consider today 
accomplishes the stated goals of the underlying bill, the deterrence 
and punishment of violent acts against pregnant women, without bogging 
us down in the abortion debate.
  I urge my colleagues to ask themselves why H.R. 1997 treats an embryo 
or a fetus at any stage of development as an individual with extensive 
legal rights distinct from the mother. How would establishing this 
legal framework reduce the occurrence of crimes against pregnant women? 
The answer is that the underlying bill is not directed to the pregnant 
woman. Instead, it unnecessarily opens up an abortion debate.
  I applaud the gentlewoman from California's (Ms. Lofgren) efforts of 
addressing the serious issue of violence against pregnant women in a 
way that accomplishes the goal of reducing this violence in a 
nonaggressive manner, and I urge my colleagues to support this 
substitute.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Pennsylvania (Ms. Hart).
  Ms. HART. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time as well as the opportunity to debate the substitute.
  This bill, the underlying bill, does address the rights of women. We 
have heard many who oppose it and support the substitute state that it 
does not. And it clearly allows a woman to seek punishment from the 
perpetrator of a crime against her that she may survive and that may 
cause the death of her unborn child. A woman who has made a decision to 
carry a child has that taken away from her during a violent act. 
Somehow I do not see how this reduces her rights.
  The Lofgren substitute, however, fails entirely to recognize unborn 
children as victims of violent crime; in fact, transforming the child's 
injuries to what amount to mere abstractions. The terminology in this 
substitute is virtually incomprehensible, and if adopted, it will 
almost certainly jeopardize any prosecution for injuring or killing an 
unborn child during the commission of a violent crime against the 
mother.
  The substitute amendment provides an enhanced penalty for what is 
called interruption of the normal course of pregnancy, resulting in 
prenatal injury, including termination of pregnancy. The amendment then 
authorizes greater punishment for the interruption that terminates the 
pregnancy than it does for a mere interruption of the pregnancy. But 
what exactly is the difference between the termination and the 
interruption of a pregnancy? It implies that a pregnancy can stop and 
start again, but does not an interruption of a pregnancy necessarily 
result in the termination of the pregnancy? And what does the phrase 
``termination of the pregnancy'' really mean here? Does it only mean 
that the unborn child died, or could it also mean that the child was 
born prematurely even without suffering any injury? These ambiguities 
make the substitute impossible to comprehend and certainly difficult to 
enforce.
  Second, the substitute amendment appears to operate as a mere 
sentence enhancement, authorizing punishment in addition to any penalty 
imposed for the crime against the mother. Yet the language suggests 
there should be a separate offense for killing or injuring the unborn 
child, but then it does not allow the prosecutor to proceed with a 
crime against the unborn child. Is a separate charge necessary for the 
enhanced penalty to be imposed? The substitute amendment simply does 
not make this clear.
  It also mischaracterizes the nature of the injury that is inflicted 
when an unborn child is killed or injured during the commission of such 
a violent crime. Under the current language of the bill, a separate 
offense is committed whenever an individual causes the death or injury 
of a child who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place. The 
substitute would transform the death of the unborn child again into an 
abstraction, ``terminating a pregnancy.'' Bodily injury inflicted upon 
the child would become a mere prenatal injury. Both injuries are 
described as resulting from the interruption of the normal course of 
pregnancy. These abstractions ignore the fact that the death of the 
unborn child occurs when a pregnancy is violently terminated by a 
criminal.
  The substitute also fails to recognize that a prenatal injury is an 
injury inflicted upon a human being in the womb of his or her mother. 
If an assault is committed on a pregnant woman, and her child 
subsequently suffers from a disability because of the assault, the 
injury cannot be accurately described as an abstract injury to a 
pregnancy. It is only an injury to a human being. Our bill recognizes 
that; the substitute does not.
  The substitute is fatally flawed and should be rejected.
  Sharon Rocha, the mother of Laci Peterson, the grandmother of unborn 
victim Conner Peterson, has written that ``the Lofgren proposal would 
enshrine in law the offensive concept that such crimes have only a 
single victim, the pregnant woman.'' The substitute amendment embodies 
the extreme ideology of those who are unwilling to

[[Page H664]]

recognize the unborn child under law in any way.
  Our approach works. Twenty-nine States have laws that recognize two 
victims. They have been challenged in court and have survived. Reject 
this substitute. Support the bill that will provide for two victims, 
and one that we know that works, and one that is not offensive to the 
families of these victims.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton).
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I have left a hearing to come to the floor 
to congratulate the gentlewoman from California for coming forward with 
a bill that does what the great majority of the American people want to 
see us do today.
  Is the point here to penalize crimes against pregnant women or to 
give personhood to the fetus? I think the majority would say it is time 
this Congress got around to recognizing that when, in fact, a violent 
crime is committed against a pregnant woman, that is a crime against 
the family, and we should have done something about it long ago.
  But what we are doing here with the bill that is on the floor is 
forcing some Members to vote against the bill, a bill that would 
otherwise have nearly universal approval in this House. It reminds me 
of the years it took us to pass the Violence Against Women Act because 
we nitpicked at it, at this, that, and the other. And it must have been 
6 or 7 years before the Violence Against Women Act passed in the face 
of rising violence against women.
  We are doing the very same thing with crimes against pregnant women. 
It is a terrible act to commit a violent crime against a pregnant 
woman. We should not leave this place unless we come to an agreement 
on, in fact, dealing with that crime and that crime alone.
  What the majority is trying to do here I want to say to them I do not 
think they can constitutionally do anyway. The majority cannot confer 
personhood on a fetus in the face of Roe v. Wade. They can keep coming 
to the floor all they want to, but I do not think that they can 
successfully do that by statute. But we can keep a substitute that is 
critically important from coming out of the Congress by insisting on 
conferring personhood against the will of the majority of people, of 
the majority of the United States, who support the common-sense 
approach to choice.
  The number of pregnant women who have been murdered has been grossly 
underreported because they are reported as murders. It is time we did 
something about it. This is a separate offense. It is a separate 
criminal offense. It does what needs to be done. I congratulate the 
gentlewoman for getting us to where we need to be today, justice for 
women, finally, on violence against those who are pregnant.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I have one more speaker to close on 
this side. Does the gentlewoman from California have any further 
speakers?
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, may I ask how much time remains?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The gentlewoman has 15 minutes.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Do I have the right to close, Mr. Speaker?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The majority manager has the right to close.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Linda T. Sanchez), a member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  Ms. LINDA T. SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition 
to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and in support of the substitute 
bill offered by the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren), the 
Motherhood Protection Act.
  I believe very strongly that violence against pregnant women is one 
of the most morally reprehensible crimes. Any act of violence against 
pregnant women should be condemned, and I support legislation that 
protects women and their unborn fetuses from violence.
  However, I have to rise and oppose the Unborn Victims of Violence Act 
that we are considering on the floor today because it jeopardizes a 
woman's right to choose and fails to protect women from violence. This 
bill is a blatant attempt to undermine a woman's right to choose, 
disguised, sadly, as an effort to protect women from violence. Under 
the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, for the first time anywhere in 
Federal law, an unborn fetus at any stage of development will be 
treated as a person that can be an independent victim of a crime. It is 
not that hard to figure out that it is a direct attack on a woman's 
right to choose as established in Roe v. Wade.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act is also inadequate for protecting 
women from violence. If the proponents of this bill were, in fact, 
sincere in their desire to prevent harm to unborn fetuses, they would 
start by preventing harm to pregnant women. It is very telling that the 
Unborn Victims of Violence Act is silent on the issue of preventing and 
punishing violent crimes against women and that the proponents of this 
bill will not accept the substitute bill offered by Ms. Lofgren, the 
Motherhood Protection Act.
  The gentlewoman from California's (Ms. Lofgren) substitute provides 
women and fetuses with the protections they need. It creates a separate 
Federal crime. It is not merely an enhancement. It is a separate 
Federal crime for harm to pregnant women and imposes a penalty of up to 
20 years in prison for injury to embryos or fetuses. If a woman's 
pregnancy is terminated in an attack, the penalty can be up to life in 
prison.
  The Lofgren substitute is a far better bill than the Unborn Victims 
of Violence Act because it protects women, it protects fetuses, and it 
still preserves a woman's right to choose. I urge my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle to show women in this country that we will protect 
them from violence by voting no on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act 
and voting yes on the superior Lofgren substitute.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Smith).
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend for 
yielding me this time.
  Mr. Speaker, this on my left is a picture of Tracy Marciniak holding 
her son at his funeral. She met with me. She met with other Members. 
The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot) just spoke of this, to tell us 
what happened to her and to her son Zachariah. Minimum time was given 
to the attacker, her husband, and there was no penalty whatsoever 
imposed for the killing of this little baby. Tracy has written to 
Congress, and I hope you all stand up and take notice, and said 
``Congress should approve the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Opponents 
of the bill have put forth a counterproposal, known as the Lofgren 
amendment. I have read it,'' she goes on to say, ``and it is offensive 
to me because it says that there is only one victim in such a crime, 
the woman who is pregnant.
  ``Please hear me,'' she goes on to say. ``On the night of February 8, 
1992, there were two victims. I was nearly killed. Little Zachariah 
died.
  ``Any lawmaker who is thinking of voting for the Lofgren `one-victim' 
amendment should first look at this picture of me holding my dead son 
at his funeral. Then I would say to that Representative, `If you really 
think that nobody died that night, then vote for the `one-victim' 
amendment.' ''
  Mr. Speaker, the Lofgren amendment stripped of its surface appeal 
trappings and enhanced penalty does have one proabortion strategic 
objective, and that is denial. Denial that an unborn child has inherent 
dignity, denial that an unborn child has worth, denial that an unborn 
child has innate value. The gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey) 
said a few moments ago in this debate we all oppose violence against 
women. I thank her for that admission.
  Back in the 106th Congress I was prime sponsor of legislation that 
included the Violence Against Women Act, the 5-year authorization. The 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), who was then chairman of the 
Committee on the Judiciary, worked to craft language that throws the 
book at those who commit violence against women, while providing 
shelters, and so many others worked on that. It was division B of that 
bill. I was the prime sponsor. So no one on that side of that divide 
takes a back seat to anyone that says that somehow we are not against 
violence against women.
  The gentlewoman from Wisconsin (Ms. Baldwin) said a moment ago that

[[Page H665]]

the woman is a victim and not the only victim. There is another victim, 
the baby. And I just want to say again, talking about the gentlewoman 
from California's (Ms. Woolsey) comments, while we are all against 
violence against women, we are not all against violence against unborn 
children. And this bill offered by the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania 
(Ms. Hart) and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) and the 
others who are leading the effort on this are saying a mugger or killer 
does not have an unfettered right or access to an unborn child to kill 
him or her.

                              {time}  1300

  The amniotic sac is a protective covering over an unborn child, but 
it is not made of Kevlar. Those sacs can be pierced so easily by a 
knife or by a bullet, and we are saying when a knife or a bullet or a 
fist pierces and kills a little baby like Zachariah, there ought to be 
a separate offense. Yes, throw the book at the mugger for any offense 
that he commits against a woman, we are all for that, but do not deny a 
penalty for a child who has been killed by that mugger.
  Vote against the Lofgren amendment and for the Hart bill.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the substitute that I have offered creates a separate 
Federal criminal offense for assaulting a pregnant woman resulting in 
injury or termination of her pregnancy, without entangling the issue in 
our disagreement about abortion and the woman's right to choose.
  In addition to recognizing the horrendous underlying crime of assault 
on a pregnant woman, it recognizes the horrific crime of assault on a 
pregnant woman that results in the interruption or termination of a 
pregnancy. It creates an offense that protects pregnant women and 
punishes violence without conflicting with the core principles of Roe 
v. Wade.
  The substitute provides consistent penalties for the same horrific 
crime. It provides for a consistent maximum 20-year sentence for injury 
and a consistent maximum life sentence for causing the termination of a 
woman's pregnancy. It requires a conviction for the underlying criminal 
offense, ensuring the crime against the woman is also punished, and it 
focuses on the assault of violence committed against the pregnant 
woman, providing a deterrent effect for violence against women.
  I am sure that the Members of this body who oppose a woman's right to 
choose also oppose violence against women. There is no disagreement on 
that score. All I am saying with my substitute is that we have the 
ability to come together in this substitute against violence against 
women without engaging in our very serious disagreement about choice.
  I think it has been made clear by the proponents of this bill that it 
is about choice. That is why this bill, the underlying bill, was 
referred and considered by the Subcommittee on the Constitution, not 
the Subcommittee on Crime, in the Committee on the Judiciary, because 
it is about the Constitution.
  The point of the underlying bill is to undercut Roe v. Wade. I think 
Roe v. Wade provides important protections for the women of this 
country. I am 56 years old, and I remember as an undergraduate in 
college young women who had to seek abortions from illegal providers or 
go to another country. I know women who almost lost their lives. 
Thankfully, because the Supreme Court has now recognized that women 
have the right to make choices about their own reproduction, women now 
do not have to seek illegal or dangerous health care solutions when 
they have made a decision that they cannot have a child.
  I think that Roe v. Wade, by allowing women to make decisions about 
their own lives, is an important principle and an important defense for 
the freedom of American women, and I do not think American women should 
give up their freedom in order to get protection from violence. That is 
what I think the underlying intent of H.R. 1997 is. I think that is why 
the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which represents 
organizations and domestic violence shelters in all 50 States, opposes 
H.R. 1997.
  So I hope the Lofgren substitute will be approved, and I hope that we 
can come together to stand against violence and for freedom for 
American women.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from Colorado (Ms. 
DeGette).
  Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the Lofgren 
amendment and in opposition to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
  Mr. Speaker, the majority of Americans are prochoice, and they depend 
on us to protect a woman's right to choose, while at the same time 
working to make abortion rare by making sure that all women have a full 
range of reproductive choices. They depend on us to pass legislation 
that will protect their reproductive freedom, and they depend on us to 
know the difference between legislation that truly protects women and 
legislation that is discussed as something that it is not, like, for 
example, the bill that is before us now.
  Today, Members of Congress who truly care about the issue of violence 
against women can put their words into action by voting for the Lofgren 
substitute. The substitute provides for the deterrence and punishment 
of violent acts against pregnant women, and it does so while completely 
avoiding the controversial issues of abortion. It creates a new 
separate crime with tough penalties, up to 20 years to life, for an 
assault that causes the termination of a pregnancy.
  So my colleagues can choose to vote for the substitute and actually 
accomplish a goal they care about, or they can go with the underlying 
bill, which is nothing but a poorly disguised vehicle to undermine Roe 
v. Wade.
  We are not fooled by this legislation. Our constituents will not be 
fooled by this legislation. If Members of the House really care about 
taking steps to protect pregnant women and punish the people who commit 
horrible acts of violence against them, we will all join together and 
vote for the Lofgren substitute.
  There is only one real difference between the substitute and the 
underlying bill, and it is this one thing that reveals the true goal of 
H.R. 1997. The underlying bill creates a Federal criminal offense that 
provides a pregnancy from conception to birth with the legal status 
separate from that of the woman. Regardless of what we are hearing 
today from proponents of the legislation, there is only one reason to 
vote for this bill, and that is to support defining a fetus or a 
fertilized egg, for that matter, as a person.
  If the supporters of the legislation want to debate the merits of 
abortion, let us do it out in the open. But they should be embarrassed 
about cloaking their true intent in an issue that we all agree upon, 
protecting pregnant women from violence.
  We keep hearing those who support the bill talk about two victims, 
but what they are omitting is the fact that this bill does not mention 
the main victim, the woman, another indication this bill is not really 
about two victims at all. The Lofgren substitute is the bill that truly 
focuses on women, because it creates a Federal criminal offense for 
harm to a pregnant woman.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to vote yes on the Lofgren substitute 
and no on final passage.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay), the majority leader.
  Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for bringing this bill 
to the floor. It is a very important bill, and it is a very timely 
bill.
  This bill has passed the House twice in two different Congresses. It 
is a bill that desperately needs to become law, because, Mr. Speaker, 
Laci Peterson had a son. He was never born, he never spoke a word or 
took his first steps, but he was real. Whoever killed Laci Peterson 
also killed her son, and to deny that is to deny truth. That unborn 
victims of violence are separate victims of violence is not a matter of 
interpretation, it is a matter of plain fact. A child could tell you 
that a man who kills a pregnant woman and her unborn child takes two 
lives.
  Unborn victims of violence feel their own pain, suffer their own 
wounds and die their own excruciating deaths, and with this legislation 
before us, we have the opportunity to say so. We have the opportunity 
to say that in this Nation

[[Page H666]]

unborn children targeted by violent men are guaranteed justice under 
the law, just as their murderers are guaranteed justice under the law.
  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act is a matter of common sense and 
common decency. It should and will pass this body by an overwhelming, 
bipartisan majority, and make right in the law what is now blatantly 
and indefensibly wrong.
  Mr. Speaker, I do not question the motives of those who plan to vote 
no. But to those who oppose this bill and support the substitute, 
support increased penalties for attacks against pregnant women without 
acknowledging the second victim of such attacks, I do ask this: Why? 
Why are the attacks against pregnant women like Laci Peterson so 
egregious? Why should they merit harsher penalties? Why do all people 
in all cultures, naturally, instinctively, recoil at such attacks? It 
is the vulnerability of the pregnant mother, to be sure, but it is also 
the innocence and the very being of the unborn child.
  Civilized society has an obligation to punish injustice, no matter 
the size, strength or political inconvenience of its victim. Laci 
Peterson's son may have been robbed from this world before he ever 
touched it, but, Mr. Speaker, he was here. Today he may be looking down 
on us from the nurseries of Heaven, protected for eternity by the God 
who knit him together in the womb, nestled in the loving embrace of the 
mother who gave him his name, but before Conner Peterson was taken, Mr. 
Speaker, he was here.
  Conner Peterson was here. Vote yes, and have the courage to say so.
  Ms. McCARTHY of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support the 
Lofgren substitute to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (H.R. 1997), 
legislation to create a second Federal offense for harm to a pregnant 
woman without creating the second legal ``person.'' The Lofgren 
substitute accomplishes the stated goals of the Unborn Victims of 
Violence Act, the deterrence and punishment of violent acts against 
pregnant women. By allowing for a second Federal offense against a 
pregnant woman, perpetrators of violence will be punished to the full 
extent of the law and their crimes. H.R. 1997, without the Lofgren 
substitute, will do nothing to prevent violence against women and 
further undermines their reproductive freedom. Recognizing the fetus as 
a second legal ``person'' would be the equivalent of rolling back a 
well recognized right that was established over 30 years ago. The 
Lofgren substitute would preserve that right. Mr. Speaker, I urge my 
colleagues to support the Lofgren substitute.
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this amendment 
sponsored by my good friend and fellow Californian Congresswoman Zoe 
Lofgren. This amendment clearly recognizes that crimes committee 
against pregnant women are especially egregious acts that should be 
subject to more stringent punishment. Specifically, this amendment 
would make it a separate Federal crime to cause, whether intentionally 
or not, a prenatal injury or the termination of the pregnancy of the 
victim during commission of a number of specified Federal offenses.
  Mr. Speaker, I am certain all of my colleagues will agree that any 
violent crime against a person is deplorable in and of itself; however, 
crimes against expectant mothers are especially heinous and should be 
dealt with more severely. I applaud Congresswoman Lofgren for 
introducing this amendment.
  While I strongly support the amendment we are debating and am a 
cosponsor of similar legislation that was introduced by Congresswoman 
Lofgren--the Motherhood Protection Act (H.R. 2247)--I feel an 
obligation to express my concerns and my strong opposition to the 
underlying legislation we are considering today, H.R. 1997, the Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act. Although these two bills appear similar at 
first blush, they are based on completely different premises.
  The Lofgren amendment is based on the belief that when the normal 
course of pregnancy is disturbed by a violent crime, the mother is 
robbed of her chance to bring a child into this world. Such an act is 
intolerable and the offender should be subjected to additional 
punishment.
  On the other hand, Mr. Speaker, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act 
extends victim status beyond the expectant mother and assigns legal 
status and protection to an unborn embryo or fetus. I believe this is 
nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to undermine the rights of 
women established in Roe v. Wade. Assigning legal rights to an unborn 
embryo or fetus is the fist step in granting ``personhood'' to an 
entity which does not yet meet the current threshold for the legal 
definition of a person. Passing this legislation would be the beginning 
of the slippery slope that will ultimately be used to limit a woman's 
right to choose.
  Mr. Speaker, the legislation we are considering today is simply a 
politically-motivated effort by some of our colleagues to chip away at 
the underlying basis of Roe v. Wade. We, as legislators, have the 
responsibility to see through these extremist and extreme views, and to 
enact legislation that does not threaten our citizens with the loss of 
their Constitutional rights.
  Mr. Speaker, a crime against a pregnant woman is an appalling and 
deplorable act that deserves the severe punishments specified in the 
Lofgren amendment. Without this amendment, the adoption of the Unborn 
Victims of Violence Act is simply a deplorable effort to take away from 
the women of this country the rights for which many have fought. I urge 
all of my colleagues to support the Lofgren substitute amendment to 
protect expectant mothers.
  Ms. JACKSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I am here today because we have a 
better alternative to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. I support 
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's substitute, the ``Motherhood Protection 
Act.'' This is a crime bill that is designed to protect pregnant women 
from violence. The Motherhood Protection Act embodies many of the same 
principles that I offered as amendments in the House Judiciary 
Committee, where the Unborn Victims of Violence Act was originally 
introduced. I have always supported the intent of this bill, to protect 
the life of the pregnant mother who has suffered as a victim of a crime 
of violence and the viability of her pregnancy. However, I oppose the 
means which the drafters of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act have 
used to achieve its end. Like The Motherhood Protection Act, all my 
offered amendments referred to changing language in the bill, focusing 
on the pregnant mother instead of the fetus.
  As a legislator, and as a mother, I want to protect the rights of 
women and children. As Chair of the Congressional Children's Caucus, I 
know how valuable and precious the lives of children are, and I will do 
everything in my power to ensure that any injustices are met with 
severe punishment. Unborn Victims of Violence does not do this, rather, 
the Motherhood Protection Act does.
  The Motherhood Protection Act creates a second, separate offense with 
separate, strict, and consistent penalties for assault resulting in the 
termination of a pregnancy or assault resulting in prenatal injury.
  The Motherhood Protection Act recognizes the pregnant woman as the 
primary victim of an assault that causes the termination of her 
pregnancy, and it creates a separate crime to punish this offense. In 
this way, the bill accomplishes the stated goals of the Unborn Victims 
of Violence Act--the deterrence and punishment of violent acts against 
pregnant women--while avoiding any undermining of the right of choose.
  Unborn Victims of Violence fails to address the very real need for 
strong Federal legislation to prevent and punish violent crimes against 
women. Nearly one in every three adult women experiences at least one 
physical assault by a partner during adulthood.
  Congress can protect pregnant women from violence without resorting 
to controversial bills like Unborn Victims of Violence that undermine 
Roe v. Wade. We must take strong steps to prevent such attacks and must 
recognize the unique tragedy suffered by a woman whose pregnancy is 
lost or harmed as a result of violence. I am calling on Congress to 
support tough criminal laws that focus on the harm suffered by women 
who are victimized while pregnant, as well as a range of programs that 
promote healthy childbearing and family planning.
  While I am pleased to see the Bush administration taking an active 
interest in women and children, I hope they will see that their goals 
can be met in other areas. I would like to see the Bush administration 
focus their efforts on caring for a pregnant woman by providing her 
decent medical care. I hope the Bush administration ensures more happy 
pregnancies and births, both with proper family planning and prenatal 
care. I call on the Bush administration to have care for the millions 
of children already living and breathing in our country, who go to 
school in overcrowded classrooms and dilapidated buildings.
  We have a wide range of programs in place to help women and children. 
I would like my colleagues to spend more time encouraging and funding 
these, rather than once again undermining a woman's right to choose.
  Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the so-called 
Unborn Victims of Violence Act, H.R. 1997. Proponents of this bill 
claim it addresses violence against pregnant women.
  Let's be honest here. H.R. 1997 is not an anticrime bill, it is an 
antiabortion bill. This bill does not address the women who are victims 
of violence. In fact, this bill makes no mention of the woman and the 
harm to her that results

[[Page H667]]

from an involuntary termination of her pregnancy.
  Legislation that truly addresses the devastation of a pregnancy lost 
due to a violent crime should focus on the attack on the woman and 
resulting harm to her fetus, as does the amendment offered by my friend 
and colleague, the gentlewoman from California (Zoe Lofgren).
  I rise in support of this amendment, as it ensures efficient 
prosecution of the criminal wrongdoer and would not undermine the legal 
principles underlying a woman's right to choose.
  Mr. Speaker, if what we are trying to do is protect pregnant women, 
then let us protect them. Let us not insult the intelligence of women 
in this country by attacking their rights under the guise of protecting 
unborn fetuses.
  The Venice Family Clinic and Westside Family Health Center, both 
located in my district, have programs in place that identify pregnant 
women at risk of domestic violence and work closely with the family 
throughout the pregnancy and for at least 1 year after the baby is 
born. These programs have had positive results at reducing domestic 
violence before it occurs.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge support for this amendment and rise in opposition 
to the underlying bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). All time has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 529, the previous question is ordered on 
the bill, as amended, and on the further amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren).
  The question is on the amendment in the nature of a substitute 
offered by the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren).
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground that a 
quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not 
present.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.
  The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 186, 
nays 229, not voting 18, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 30]

                               YEAS--186

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baca
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Ballance
     Bass
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Biggert
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Boehlert
     Bono
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Bradley (NH)
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (OH)
     Brown, Corrine
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Carson (IN)
     Case
     Castle
     Clay
     Clyburn
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Crowley
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Dooley (CA)
     Dunn
     Edwards
     Emanuel
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Ford
     Frank (MA)
     Frelinghuysen
     Frost
     Gephardt
     Gonzalez
     Gordon
     Granger
     Green (TX)
     Greenwood
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Harman
     Hastings (FL)
     Hill
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Hobson
     Hoeffel
     Holt
     Hooley (OR)
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Inslee
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kaptur
     Kelly
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kilpatrick
     Kind
     Kolbe
     Lampson
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Leach
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lofgren
     Lowey
     Lynch
     Majette
     Maloney
     Markey
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Moore
     Moran (VA)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Obey
     Ose
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Pomeroy
     Price (NC)
     Pryce (OH)
     Rangel
     Reyes
     Rodriguez
     Ross
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Sabo
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Scott (GA)
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Shays
     Sherman
     Simmons
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Solis
     Spratt
     Stark
     Strickland
     Sweeney
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Thomas
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tierney
     Towns
     Turner (TX)
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wexler
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn

                               NAYS--229

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Bachus
     Baker
     Ballenger
     Barrett (SC)
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Beauprez
     Bereuter
     Berry
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Boozman
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burgess
     Burns
     Burr
     Burton (IN)
     Calvert
     Camp
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Cardoza
     Carson (OK)
     Carter
     Chabot
     Chandler
     Chocola
     Coble
     Cole
     Costello
     Cox
     Cramer
     Crane
     Crenshaw
     Cubin
     Culberson
     Cunningham
     Davis (TN)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Doolittle
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     English
     Everett
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Flake
     Foley
     Fossella
     Franks (AZ)
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gibbons
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Goss
     Graves
     Green (WI)
     Gutknecht
     Hall
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Hoekstra
     Holden
     Hostettler
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Isakson
     Issa
     Istook
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kanjorski
     Keller
     Kennedy (MN)
     Kildee
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     LaHood
     Langevin
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Manzullo
     Marshall
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHugh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McNulty
     Mica
     Michaud
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Mollohan
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy
     Murtha
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Nethercutt
     Neugebauer
     Ney
     Norwood
     Nunes
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Ortiz
     Osborne
     Otter
     Oxley
     Paul
     Pearce
     Pence
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Pombo
     Porter
     Portman
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Royce
     Ryan (OH)
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Saxton
     Schrock
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Skelton
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Souder
     Stearns
     Stenholm
     Stupak
     Sullivan
     Tancredo
     Tauzin
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Toomey
     Turner (OH)
     Upton
     Visclosky
     Vitter
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (NM)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--18

     Bell
     Brady (TX)
     Buyer
     Collins
     Doggett
     Forbes
     Honda
     Kirk
     Kleczka
     Kucinich
     Lantos
     McInnis
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Millender-McDonald
     Northup
     Olver
     Quinn


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood) (during the vote). Members are 
advised there are 2 minutes remaining to vote.

                              {time}  1336

  Messrs. SHIMKUS, SMITH of Texas, GARRETT of New Jersey and BERRY 
changed their vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Mr. TOWNS changed his vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So the amendment in the nature of a substitute was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Mr. KIRK. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 30 I was unavoidably detained. 
Had I been present, I would have voted ``yea.''
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, for rollcall vote No. 30, had I been present, 
I would have voted in the affirmative.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The question is on the 
engrossment and third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 254, 
noes 163, not voting 16, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 31]

                               AYES--254

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Bachus
     Baker
     Ballenger
     Barrett (SC)
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Beauprez
     Bereuter
     Berry
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Boozman
     Bradley (NH)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burgess
     Burns
     Burr
     Burton (IN)
     Calvert

[[Page H668]]


     Camp
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Cardoza
     Carson (OK)
     Carter
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chandler
     Chocola
     Coble
     Cole
     Costello
     Cox
     Cramer
     Crane
     Crenshaw
     Crowley
     Cubin
     Culberson
     Cunningham
     Davis (TN)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Doolittle
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     English
     Everett
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Flake
     Foley
     Fossella
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gibbons
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Gordon
     Goss
     Granger
     Graves
     Green (WI)
     Gutknecht
     Hall
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Hill
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Holden
     Hostettler
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Isakson
     Issa
     Istook
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Keller
     Kennedy (MN)
     Kildee
     Kind
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     LaHood
     Langevin
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Lynch
     Manzullo
     Marshall
     Matheson
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHugh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McNulty
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Mollohan
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy
     Murtha
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neal (MA)
     Nethercutt
     Neugebauer
     Ney
     Norwood
     Nunes
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Ortiz
     Osborne
     Ose
     Otter
     Oxley
     Pearce
     Pence
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Pombo
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Portman
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Ross
     Royce
     Ryan (OH)
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Saxton
     Schrock
     Scott (GA)
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Skelton
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Souder
     Spratt
     Stearns
     Stenholm
     Stupak
     Sullivan
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Tanner
     Tauzin
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Toomey
     Turner (OH)
     Turner (TX)
     Upton
     Vitter
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (NM)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                               NOES--163

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baca
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Ballance
     Bass
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Biggert
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Boehlert
     Bono
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (OH)
     Brown, Corrine
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Carson (IN)
     Case
     Clay
     Clyburn
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Dooley (CA)
     Edwards
     Emanuel
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Ford
     Frank (MA)
     Frost
     Gephardt
     Gonzalez
     Green (TX)
     Greenwood
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Harman
     Hastings (FL)
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Hoeffel
     Holt
     Hooley (OR)
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Inslee
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kelly
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kilpatrick
     Kirk
     Kolbe
     Lampson
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lofgren
     Lowey
     Majette
     Maloney
     Markey
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Michaud
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Moore
     Moran (VA)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Olver
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Paul
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Price (NC)
     Rangel
     Reyes
     Rodriguez
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Sabo
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Shays
     Sherman
     Simmons
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Solis
     Stark
     Strickland
     Tauscher
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tierney
     Towns
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wexler
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn

                             NOT VOTING--16

     Bell
     Brady (TX)
     Buyer
     Collins
     Doggett
     Forbes
     Honda
     Kleczka
     Kucinich
     Lantos
     McInnis
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Millender-McDonald
     Northup
     Quinn


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood) (during the vote). There are 2 
minutes remaining in this vote.

                              {time}  1355

  So the bill was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________