Fighting for unborn crime victims
Published on January 24th, 2012
By Kathleen M. Gallagher
Yesterday I spent some time down at the state Capitol talking to legislators about the need for an “Unborn Victims of Violence Act.” Such a law would bring justice for families who suffer loss and anguish over the death or injury to an unborn loved one, only to have the state say their loved one never existed. In New York, the law says one must be “born alive” in order to be the victim of a crime or an attempted crime. Thirty-six other states have changed this antiquated rule and now allow perpetrators to face charges for crimes against the unborn.
This week I brought with me a woman named Marci Gaylord. Marci’s daughter Ashlie was almost full-term in her pregnancy when the family learned her former boyfriend had tried to hire a hit man to stab Ashlie in the stomach in order to kill her unborn daughter. Thankfully, police foiled the vicious plot, and Baby Sophia (pictured) is now a healthy one-year-old. But the perpetrator is serving a prison term only for attempted assault on Ashlie, who wasn’t his intended target. Marci and her family are frustrated that no charges could be brought for the attempted murder of Sophia.
We are working hard to change the law. Please help by urging your lawmakers to support the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act,” numbered S.4347 and A.1673. As Marci says, her family’s story is “one, unlike most cases out there, which didn’t have a tragic ending. We need to embrace this miracle and learn from it. Changes are needed.”