Unborn Victims of Violence Act

Unborn Victims of Violence Act

Under current federal law, if a criminal assaults a pregnant woman and kills her unborn baby, he is charged only with assault, because the unborn baby is not legally recognized as a victim. Under a bill currently before the U.S. Senate the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (H.R. 503, S. 480) any criminal who injures or kills an unborn baby while committing a federal crime will be charged with two offenses, because he has claimed two victims. Consider just one true life case:

My name is Tracie Marciniak. In the photo, I am holding the body of my dead son, Zachariah, at his funeral. In the ninth month of my pregnancy, I was brutally beaten by a man who knew that I very much wanted my baby. This man punched me very hard twice in the abdomen. Zachariah bled to death within my womb because of a blunt-force trauma. My attacker was convicted for the injury he did to me, but not for the death of Zachariah, who was not legally recognized as a crime victim. 

We need the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, because federal law should recognize what this photograph shows: when a criminal attacks a pregnant woman and injures or kills her unborn baby, he has claimed two victims.

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