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A bill supported by the family of Laci Peterson and those who want to treat the unborn as human beings finally passes the House.

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Roll Call: How the House Passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act

A bill supported by the family of Laci Peterson and those who want to treat the unborn as human beings finally passes the House.

On February 26, by a vote of 254 to 163, the House passed a bill (H.R. 1997) punishing violence against pregnant women by legally counting their unborn children as persons. The bill presented a quandary for supporters of abortion because they are skittish about treating the unborn as human beings.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Melissa Hart (R.-Pa.), was strongly supported by the family of murder victim Laci Peterson, who was killed along with her unborn son Conner last year in California.

Under current federal law, perpetrators of violence against pregnant women receive no additional punishment even if it results in the death of the woman’s unborn child. Hart’s measure contains an exception for the violence involved in an abortion consented to by a pregnant woman or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf. But this did little to staunch the anger of liberals fearing “women’s choice” issues were at risk.

“The bill before us today would give a fetus the same recognition as you or I for the first time in Federal law,” said abortion supporter Rep. Nita Lowey (D.-N.Y.), as if this recognition were a bad thing. Similarly, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D.-Calif.), called the bill “dishonest.”

“This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Woolsey, who recently caused a stir by intervening in a California court case on behalf of a convicted rapist to minimize his sentence. She called the bill “a proposal to undermine reproductive rights dressed up as a bill to punish violent crimes against women.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D.-Calif.) proposed a substitute that would have avoided treating an unborn person as a person by making it a federal criminal offense to assault a pregnant woman causing “injury or termination of her pregnancy.” The substitute failed in a vote of 186 to 229.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D.-N.Y.) weighed in heavily against the bill: “We cannot agree to the bill, because the whole point of the bill is to establish legally separate fetal personhood, This would undermine the entire rationale of Roe v. Wade and undermine a woman’s right to choose, because if a fetus is a separate legal person, how can she choose to terminate the pregnancy?”

Republicans insisted that this was not an abortion issue, but rather one strictly dealing with justice. Conservative Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) called the passage of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act a victory for justice in America. Pence said: “This is not a debate about life–this is about justice, this is about compassion, and this is about this Congress standing for what justice demands. This is not about the thorny issues that surround the debate over a woman’s right to choose or the right to life.”

Likewise, Rep. Mike Ferguson (R.-N.J.) said that the Unborn Victims of Violence Act “should be common sense” and that he was mystified by those who “seemed to be hysterical in their opposition to commonsense legislation.”

A “yes” vote was a vote for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, to criminalize violence against the unborn. A “no” vote was a vote against the bill.

FOR THE BILL: 254 AGAINST THE BILL: 179
REPUBLICANS FOR: 207
Aderholt
Akin
Bachus
Baker
Ballenger
Barrett (SC)
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Beauprez
Bereuter
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Blunt
Boehner
Bonilla
Bonner
Boozman
Bradley (NH)
Brown (SC)
Brown-Waite, Ginny
Burgess
Burns
Burr
Burton (IN)
Calvert
Camp
Cannon
Cantor
Capito
Carter
Castle
Chabot
Chocola
Coble
Cole
Cox
Crane
Crenshaw
Cubin
Culberson
Cunningham
Davis, Jo Ann
Davis, Tom
Deal (GA)
DeLay
DeMint
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Doolittle
Dreier
Duncan
Dunn
Ehlers
Emerson
English
Everett
Feeney
Ferguson
Flake
Foley
Fossella
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Gibbons
Gilchrest
Gillmor
Gingrey
Goode
Goodlatte
Goss
Granger
Graves
Green (WI)
Gutknecht
Hall
Harris
Hart
Hastings (WA)
Hayes
Hayworth
Hefley
Hensarling
Herger
Hobson
Hoekstra
Hostettler
Hulshof
Hunter
Hyde
Isakson
Issa
Istook
Jenkins
Johnson, Sam
Johnson (IL)
Jones (NC)
Keller
Kennedy (MN)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kingston
Kline
Knollenberg
LaHood
Latham
LaTourette
Leach
Lewis (CA)
Lewis (KY)
Linder
LoBiondo
Lucas (OK)
Manzullo
McCotter
McCrery
McHugh
McKeon
Mica
Miller, Gary
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Moran (KS)
Murphy
Musgrave
Myrick
Nethercutt
Neugebauer
Ney
Norwood
Nunes
Nussle
Osborne
Ose
Otter
Oxley
Pearce
Pence
Peterson (PA)
Petri
Pickering
Pitts
Platts
Pombo
Porter
Portman
Pryce (OH)
Putnam
Radanovich
Ramstad
Regula
Rehberg
Renzi
Reynolds
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Ros-Lehtinen
Royce
Ryan (WI)
Ryun (KS)
Saxton
Schrock
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Shadegg
Shaw
Sherwood
Shimkus
Shuster
Simpson
Smith (MI)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Souder
Stearns
Sullivan
Sweeney
Tancredo
Tauzin
Taylor (NC)
Terry
Thomas
Thornberry
Tiahrt
Tiberi
Toomey
Turner (OH)
Upton
Vitter
Walden (OR)
Walsh
Wamp
Weldon (FL)
Weldon (PA)
Weller
Whitfield
Wicker
Wilson (NM)
Wilson (SC)
Wolf
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS FOR: 47
Alexander
Berry
Bishop (GA)
Cardoza
Carson (OK)
Chandler
Costello
Cramer
Crowley
Davis (TN)
Doyle
Gordon
Hill
Holden
Jefferson
John
Kanjorski
Kaptur
Kildee
Kind
Langevin
Lipinski
Lucas (KY)
Lynch
Marshall
Matheson
McIntyre
McNulty
Mollohan
Murtha
Neal (MA)
Oberstar
Obey
Ortiz
Peterson (MN)
Pomeroy
Rahall
Ross
Ryan (OH)
Scott (GA)
Skelton
Spratt
Stenholm
Stupak
Tanner
Taylor (MS)
Turner (TX)

REPUBLICANS AGAINST: 13
Bass
Biggert
Boehlert
Bono
Greenwood
Houghton
Johnson (CT)
Kelly
Kirk
Kolbe
Paul
Shays
Simmons

DEMOCRATS AGAINST: 149
Abercrombie
Ackerman
Allen
Andrews
Baca
Baird
Baldwin
Ballance
Becerra
Berkley
Berman
Bishop (NY)
Blumenauer
Boswell
Boucher
Boyd
Brady (PA)
Brown,
Brown (OH)
Capps
Capuano
Cardin
Carson (IN)
Case
Clay
Clyburn
Conyers
Cooper
Corrine
Cummings
Davis (AL)
Davis (CA)
Davis (FL)
Davis (IL)
DeFazio
DeGette
Delahunt
DeLauro
Deutsch
Dicks
Dingell
Dooley (CA)
Edwards
Emanuel
Engel
Eshoo
Etheridge
Evans
Farr
Fattah
Filner
Ford
Frank (MA)
Frost
Gephardt
Gonzalez
Green (TX)
Grijalva
Gutierrez
Harman
Hastings (FL)
Hinchey
Hinojosa
Hoeffel
Hollen
Holt
Hooley (OR)
Hoyer
Inslee
Israel
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Johnson, E. B.
Jones (OH)
Kennedy (RI)
Kilpatrick
Lampson
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee
Levin
Lewis (GA)
Lofgren
Lowey
Majette
Maloney
Markey
Matsui
McCarthy (MO)
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
Meehan
Meek (FL)
Michaud
Miller, George
Miller (NC)
Moore
Moran (VA)
Nadler
Napolitano
Olver
Owens
Pallone
Pascrell
Pastor
Payne
Pelosi
Price (NC)
Rangel
Reyes
Rodriguez
Rothman
Roybal-Allard
Ruppersberger
Rush
Sabo
S√?∆? ¬°nchez, Linda
Sanchez, Loretta
Sandlin
Schakowsky
Schiff
Scott (VA)
Serrano
Sherman
Slaughter
Smith (WA)
Snyder
Solis
Stark
Strickland
Tauscher
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Tierney
Towns
Udall (CO)
Udall (NM)
Van
Vel√?∆? ¬°zquez
Visclosky
Waters
Watson
Watt
Waxman
Weiner
Wexler
Woolsey
Wu
Wynn

INDEPENDENTS AGAINST: 1
Sanders

NOT VOTING: 16

REPUBLICANS (7): DEMOCRATS (9): INDEPENDENTS (0)
Brady (TX)
Buyer
Collins
Forbes
McInnis
Northup
Quinn
Bell
Doggett
Honda
Kleczka
Kucinich
Lantos
Meeks (NY)
Menendez
Millender-McDonald
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