WASHINGTON, Mar 16, 2001 ( – The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2001, which seeks to have those who would attack pregnant women charged for harm to both the mother and to her unborn child, has come under intense fire from “pro-choice” groups. Melissa Seckora of National Review pointed out today the absurdity of abortion proponents who oppose the bill even though the act in no way restricts a mother from obtaining an abortion. Pro-abortion Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D., Mich.) said of the bill, “This Act is nothing but a transparent attempt to expand fetal rights.”

However, those arguing for the bill pointed out that “Roe v. Wade protects the woman’s right of choice; it does not protect, much less confer on an assailant, a third-party unilateral right to destroy a fetus.” Robert Cynkar, a former deputy assistant attorney general with criminal jurisdiction, argued, “Surely, the vast majority of pro-choice individuals are not pro-abortion per se, but rather have grave qualms about the government interfering with a woman’s decision-making concerning such an intimate decision as bringing a baby to term. That view is hardly at odds with this bill, which, after all, punishes those who would take away a mother’s right to choose by doing harm to her baby.”

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