DeLay Statement on House Floor: Unborn Victims of Violence Act

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Office of the Majority Whip

    WASHINGTON, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) made
 the following statement on the House Floor today in support of H.R. 503, The
 Unborn Victims of Violence Act 2001.
     Congressman DeLay's Floor Statement Follows:
 
     "Mr. Speaker, Members should support the Unborn Victims of Violence Act
 and oppose the Lofgren Amendment because it fails to acknowledge that when
 unborn children are killed they have been murdered.  Life and death should not
 be subsumed beneath a semantic fog.
     "It's time that our society began recognizing and defending both of the
 victims who are harmed when violent criminals attack pregnant women.  Those
 who would artificially discriminate between lives lost to crime within and
 without the womb draw empty and callous distinctions.  All life is precious.
 Society must protect every victim.
     "Current federal law devalues and denies significance to unborn children.
 This destructive precedent has two unfortunate consequences.  First, current
 law accrues to the benefit of the murderous thugs who destroy the lives of
 unborn children.  These criminals aren't forced to atone for the young life
 they have destroyed.
     "Second, by denying a legal identity to unborn victims, we create a
 society that is coarser, less feeling, and less just than it would otherwise
 be.  The law must not look upon a violent criminal's unborn victims with an
 indifferent eye.  Every young life must be acknowledged.  And every young life
 must be protected from predatory criminals.
     "Of course society, through manners and custom, has always deferred to the
 care and comfort of pregnant women.  But we would be callously deceived if we
 limited our heightened attention merely to the woman's physical condition
 without acknowledging a vital predicate: It is precisely because a woman
 carries the miracle of life within her that she becomes the most precious and
 treasured member of society.
     "It is because two lives exist together that society seeks to protect her.
 And the law must protect both lives.  The law cannot remain blind on this
 point. Let's take the logic underlying opposition to this bill and apply it to
 the case of an elderly victim.
     "It would be a truly repugnant idea to suggest that criminals should serve
 diminished sentences if they preyed upon elderly victims with only a few years
 yet to live.  Fortunately, society doesn't draw this ugly distinction.  We
 value and protect life until a person draws their final breath.
     "But it is intrinsically flawed reasoning, leading to an equally gross
 injustice, to deny explicit protection to an unborn person who is months,
 weeks, or days from breathing his or her first breath.  Society must extend
 the protection of the law to every vulnerable victim.  The mothers of these
 murdered children certainly see these crimes with the proper perspective.
     "In an all-too-common set of horrible circumstances, the criminal's unborn
 victim is actually the primary target when a murderer stalks a pregnant woman.
 And under current law, when an unborn victim is murdered, in the eyes of
 society, no one has died.  That must change.
 
     "It's time to end this awful and unconscionable oversight.  This bill
 extends protection to every vulnerable victim.  Support the bill so that
 society will acknowledge and defend every vulnerable American."
 
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SOURCE Office of the Majority Whip
    WASHINGTON, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) made
 the following statement on the House Floor today in support of H.R. 503, The
 Unborn Victims of Violence Act 2001.
     Congressman DeLay's Floor Statement Follows:
 
     "Mr. Speaker, Members should support the Unborn Victims of Violence Act
 and oppose the Lofgren Amendment because it fails to acknowledge that when
 unborn children are killed they have been murdered.  Life and death should not
 be subsumed beneath a semantic fog.
     "It's time that our society began recognizing and defending both of the
 victims who are harmed when violent criminals attack pregnant women.  Those
 who would artificially discriminate between lives lost to crime within and
 without the womb draw empty and callous distinctions.  All life is precious.
 Society must protect every victim.
     "Current federal law devalues and denies significance to unborn children.
 This destructive precedent has two unfortunate consequences.  First, current
 law accrues to the benefit of the murderous thugs who destroy the lives of
 unborn children.  These criminals aren't forced to atone for the young life
 they have destroyed.
     "Second, by denying a legal identity to unborn victims, we create a
 society that is coarser, less feeling, and less just than it would otherwise
 be.  The law must not look upon a violent criminal's unborn victims with an
 indifferent eye.  Every young life must be acknowledged.  And every young life
 must be protected from predatory criminals.
     "Of course society, through manners and custom, has always deferred to the
 care and comfort of pregnant women.  But we would be callously deceived if we
 limited our heightened attention merely to the woman's physical condition
 without acknowledging a vital predicate: It is precisely because a woman
 carries the miracle of life within her that she becomes the most precious and
 treasured member of society.
     "It is because two lives exist together that society seeks to protect her.
 And the law must protect both lives.  The law cannot remain blind on this
 point. Let's take the logic underlying opposition to this bill and apply it to
 the case of an elderly victim.
     "It would be a truly repugnant idea to suggest that criminals should serve
 diminished sentences if they preyed upon elderly victims with only a few years
 yet to live.  Fortunately, society doesn't draw this ugly distinction.  We
 value and protect life until a person draws their final breath.
     "But it is intrinsically flawed reasoning, leading to an equally gross
 injustice, to deny explicit protection to an unborn person who is months,
 weeks, or days from breathing his or her first breath.  Society must extend
 the protection of the law to every vulnerable victim.  The mothers of these
 murdered children certainly see these crimes with the proper perspective.
     "In an all-too-common set of horrible circumstances, the criminal's unborn
 victim is actually the primary target when a murderer stalks a pregnant woman.
 And under current law, when an unborn victim is murdered, in the eyes of
 society, no one has died.  That must change.
 
     "It's time to end this awful and unconscionable oversight.  This bill
 extends protection to every vulnerable victim.  Support the bill so that
 society will acknowledge and defend every vulnerable American."
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X94115223
 
 SOURCE  Office of the Majority Whip