WASHINGTON, April 2, 2004 ( – Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins praised President Bush’s signing of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act on Thursday. The new law will force the courts to recognize two victims in a violent crime committed against a pregnant woman, which results in the harm or death of her unborn child. Twenty-nine states have already passed similar legislation, and more than 80% of Americans favored the passage of the federal ‘Unborn Victims’ bill.  “As these and the other families understand, any time an expectant mother is a victim of violence, two lives are in the balance, each deserving protection, and each deserving justice,” the President said. “If the crime is murder and the unborn child’s life ends, justice demands a full accounting under the law.”“Today marks a tremendous victory for the pro-life movement,” said FRC’s Tony Perkins. “We are now one giant step closer to rebuilding a culture of life, where every child—born and unborn—is given the protections they so clearly deserve.”“This law merely recognizes what common sense tells us all: there are two victims when a pregnant woman is harmed,” Perkins continued. “More than a dozen lawsuits have challenged fetal homicide laws over the past few years, and every time the laws have been upheld by state courts, federal courts, and even the U.S. Supreme Court.”  The bill passed the House of Representatives on February 26, 254-163, and the Senate on March 25, 61-38. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) was consulted in the drafting of the legislation in 1999, and coordinated the coalition that worked for its enactment.

“Senator John Kerry voted against Laci and Conner’s Law, and if Kerry were president, today would be a veto ceremony, not a signing ceremony,” said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. “Polls show about 80 percent of Americans recognize that crimes like the killing of Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, have two victims – but Kerry thinks there is only a single victim.”  President Bush was joined on the stage by six women and men who have lost both their daughters and their unborn grandchildren in violent crimes.  The President’s complete remarks with some photos of the signing are posted on the White House website:   NRLC has an extensive resource center on the Internet on unborn victims of violence, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and state fetal homicide laws, at