Unborn Victims of Violence Act

There is an item on the Senate’s legislative calendar of which I was recently reminded by a good friend. The bill is S. 1019, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and was introduced by Sen. Mike DeWine (R.-Ohio) on May 7, 2003.

In his introduction of the bill, Sen. DeWine noted, “In about half of the States today, 26, if you commit a crime of violence against a pregnant woman and her unborn baby dies, you can be punished for the violence against both the mother and the unborn child. But, tragically, if you commit a Federal crime of violence against a pregnant woman and her baby dies, the death of the unborn child could essentially go unpunished.”

Here is the Congressional Research Service summary of S. 1019:

Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2003 – Provides that: (1) any person who engages in conduct that violates specified provisions of the Federal criminal code, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, or specified articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (conduct constituting certain Federal violent crimes), and thereby causes the death of, or bodily injury to, a child who is in utero, shall be guilty of a separate offense (but prohibits imposition of the death penalty for such offense); and (2) the punishment for that separate offense shall be the same as that provided under Federal law for that conduct had that injury or death occurred to the unborn child’s mother.

Directs that if the person engaging in the conduct thereby intentionally kills or attempts to kill the unborn child, that person shall be punished as provided under the Federal criminal code for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.

Bars prosecution under this Act: (1) for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law in a medical emergency; (2) for conduct relating to any medical treatment of the pregnant woman or her unborn child; or (3) of any woman with respect to her unborn child.

This is an important bill, and GOP sources claim that Majority Leader Frist wants to pass the bill this month. Unfortunately, no one knows what the Democrats will do. Because they are beholden to the pro-abortion lobby, Democrats are expected offer a fair amount of resistance, even though the bill expressly exempts abortions. Of course, liberals hate the thought of raising the public’s conscience regarding the rights and lives of the unborn.

I suppose it’s no big surprise – anyone who supports the practice of partial-birth abortion has no reason to support legislation titled “Unborn Victims of Violence Act.”

Here are a few phone numbers if you’re interested in urging Senate leadership to get this bill passed:

–Majority Leader’s office: 202-224-3135
–Sen. Bill Frist’s personal office: 202-224-3344
–Majority Whip’s office: 202-224-2708
–Sen. Mitch McConnell’s personal office: 202-224-2541

–Minority Leader’s office: 202-224-5556
–Sen. Daschle’s personal office: 202-224-2321
–Minority Whip’s office: 202-224-2158
–Sen. Reid’s personal office: 202-224-3542



  • Text of S. 1019, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act
  • Cosponsors of S. 1019
  • CRS Summary of S. 1019
  • Sen. DeWine’s introductory statement on S. 1019 (Congressional Record, pages S5873-5874)
  • Sen. Hatch’s statement on S. 1019 (Congressional Record, pages S5875-5876)
  • Contact information for all 100 Senators