Another Pregnant Soldier Dies in North Carolina
Special Report - June 25, 2008
On Saturday June 21, Fayetteville Police officers found the body of seven-month pregnant Spc. Megan Lynn Touma in a motel room, making Touma the second pregnant soldier to die in North Carolina this year. While the state of Touma’s corpse makes it difficult to determine the cause of death, authorities believe the death to be suspicious.
Earlier this year, Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach was murdered while pregnant. In that case, Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson did not seek indictment for Lauterbach’s unborn child since North Carolina law does not consider killing unborn children during an assault on the pregnant mother to be murder. While the federal government has an Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA), this law only applies to certain crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction. In order for the other instances of fetal murder to be prosecuted as separate offenses, each state must have its own fetal murder law.
North Carolina currently does not have such a bill, which means that Lautherbach’s unborn child was not counted as a separate victim. Unless Touma’s case fits in the narrow range of federal crimes enumerated by the federal UVVA, her unborn child will not receive justice. Two fetal murder bills, HB 263Unborn Victims of Violence and SB 295Fetal Murder, were presented in the North Carolina House and Senate during the 2007 legislative session, but neither bill passed.
“This recent murder of yet another pregnant soldier in North Carolina only intensifies the need for a UVVA in North Carolina,” commented Matt Lytle, director of research for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “How many more unborn victims of violence must there be before lawmakers will make sure that justice is available for every victim?
To read more about the need for a UVVA in North Carolina, see the article “Protecting the Unborn,” originally published in Family North Carolina.
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.