This legislation provides that an individual who injures or kills an unborn child during the commission of certain federal crimes–68 are referenced in the bill–will be guilty of a separate offense. Pro-abortion advocates object to any reference to the unborn child as a separate existing being. Twenty-four states already have laws that recognize unborn children as crime victims. These laws have withstood challenges in the courts. In the 106th Congress this legislation passed the House but did not go beyond the hearings’ stage in the Senate.
The House measure, H.R. 503, passed in 2001 and was placed on the Senate calendar. The Senate companion bill, S. 480, was pending in committee. No further Senate action was taken on either bill.