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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vote on H215 Expected March 23

First Vote on Unborn Victims of Violence Act/Ethen’s Law Expected on Wednesday, March 23

Last Wednesday, the House Judiciary B committee heard testimony from various individuals, but none of the testimonies could compare with Effie Steele's impassioned plea for  justice for her 21 year old daughter Ebony Robinson and her unborn son Elijah who were murdered only weeks before Ebony was due to deliver Elijah.

With photos of both Ebony and Elijah in front of her and facing the committee members, Effie pleaded with the committee to recognize that when Elijah died, she lost her only grandson who should have been recognized as a victim just as his mother was by charging the murderer with two murder charges.  She finished her testimony in tears as she begged the members to set aside their abortion biases and recognize that the bill is not about abortion but about charging assailants with two crimes when they kill or injury a mother and her unborn child.

The bill is expected to come up for a vote in the Judiciary Sub Committee B, chaired by Reps. Paul Stam and Sarah Stevens, on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at 10:00 am in Room 421 of the Legislative Office Building.  It is important for the members of the sub committee, especially the Democrats, to hear from their constituents.

The committee members should be urged to support the bill with their vote in committee as well as on the House floor. To see a list of the members of the committee, click here. By following this link, you can get to the web page for your particular legislator who is on the committee.  Phone calls are preferred to emails.  If you can only send an email, be sure to put Support H215 in the subject line of the email.  

If you live in the districts for Reps. Bordsen (Alamance), Bryant (Halifax and Nash), Glazier (Cumberland), Haire (Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain), Martin (Wake), and Michaux (Durham) and can come to the committee meeting, you should try to be there early enough to introduce yourself to your representative as a constituent who supports recognizing the unborn as a second victim.

H215 recognizes the unborn child as a second victim when the unborn child is injured or dies during the commission of a crime.  Currently, if an unborn child dies or is injured on federal property located in North Carolina, the criminal can be charged for the injury or death of the child; yet, the same person could not be charged for the injury or death of the unborn child if the same crime was committed any where else in North Carolina. 

Passage of H215 will correct this inequity.  The victims’ families are seeking and deserve justice for their families and recognition that two of their family members have been affected when their pregnant daughters and grandchildren have been killed or injured.

North Carolina Right to Life supports the passage of The Unborn Victims of Violence Act/Ethen’s Law (UVVA), H215, which is modeled after the Federal UVVA passed in 2004 and signed into law by President George W. Bush.

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