Parents Call for Fetal Murder Law
Special Report - May 8, 2009
Yesterday, the parents of three North Carolina women who were murdered while pregnant joined North Carolina Right to Life and legislators at a press conference urging passage of HB 890Unborn Victims of Violence Act. North Carolina is one of only 15 states that does not recognize crimes committed against unborn children that result in death. Similar bills have been introduced for more than five years in the General Assembly without ever receiving even a hearing in committee. HB 890, which is sponsored by 54 of the 120 members of the House, has been assigned to the Judiciary I committee, but not yet scheduled for consideration.
Effie Steele of Durham, NC lost her daughter Ebony to an act of domestic violence in 2007 when she was eight months pregnant with Effie’s grandson, Elijah, who was buried in his own casket. Steele said she “felt betrayed and robbed,” when she found out that the murderer would only be charged with one murder. She went on to point out that North Carolina has “more laws protecting dogs, chickens, and property” than unborn children, and that HB 890 is about “justice under the law.”
Michelle Dye of Gaston County lost her daughter Lucy, who was 15 weeks pregnant, to a rape and execution-style murder by Lucy’s fiancé in 2008. HB 890, she contends, is about protecting “a woman’s right to choose,” and acknowledging and protecting “the lives [these women] died trying to protect.”
Rep. Pat McElraft (RCarteret), a sponsor of HB 890, pointed out the hypocrisy of the House passing a bill last week to make it illegal to kill grasscarp, while it remains legal to kill an unborn child in an act of violence. She went on to remind attendees that a federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act applies on the many military bases in North Carolina, but women anywhere else in the state do not enjoy that same protection under the law.
“It is unconscionable that North Carolina refuses to honor and protect the victims of these horrendous crimes against mothers and their unborn children,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Even though two people, a mother and her unborn child, lost their lives in these instances, only one person is eligible to receive justice under current law. North Carolina should stand firm against violence committed against mothers and their children by acting quickly to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.”
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.