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President Signs Dangerous Unborn Victims of Violence Act
by PPFA
Friday Apr 2nd, 2004 12:01 AM
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today denounced President Bush's signing of S. 1019, the so-called Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA), which gives separate legal status to a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus, even if the woman does not know she is pregnant.
President Signs Dangerous Unborn Victims of Violence Act

S. 1019 Poses a Direct Threat to Roe v. Wade

April 1, 2004

Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today denounced President Bush's signing of S. 1019, the so-called Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA), which gives separate legal status to a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus, even if the woman does not know she is pregnant.

"The so-called Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA) is not intended to protect pregnant women from domestic violence or punish individuals who harm them," said PPFA President Gloria Feldt. "It is part of a deceptive anti-choice strategy to make women's bodies mere vessels by creating legal personhood for the fetus."

The UVVA was created with the sole aim of undermining the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that "the word 'person' as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn." This bill elevates the legal status of a fetus to make it equal to that of the adult woman who actually suffers the primary injury, creating a penalty for anyone convicted of harming a fetus during commission of certain federal crimes. It is part of ongoing attempts to bestow personhood on the fetus by granting it separate legal rights equal to and independent of those of the pregnant woman.

This legislation, which passed the Senate 61-38 on March 25, 2004, fails to mention the harm to the woman resulting from an involuntary termination of her pregnancy. Sponsors of the UVVA have made their ideological goal abundantly clear: when given the opportunity to vote for a substitute bill that had virtually identical criminal penalties but recognized the pregnant woman, rather than the fetus, as the victim, they voted against the alternative.

"Violence against women, including pregnant women, is a significant problem in America, one that should be addressed," stated Feldt. "This bill does nothing to prevent violence but does shift the focus away from real solutions by undermining women's health and reproductive freedoms."



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Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's largest and most trusted voluntary reproductive health organization. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child — and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate nearly 900 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year.


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