Perspectives on the "Laci and Conner Law"
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This paper examines H.R. 1997, the law enacted in response to the murder of Laci Peterson, whose body and that of her unborn fetus, Connor, washed ashore shortly before her husband, Scott Peterson, was accused of the murder. Arguing from a pro-life perspective, the paper cites the National Right to Life Committee and other sources to support its argument, then summarizes the arguments of organizations that opposed the law, such as the ACLU and the National Organization of Women. The paper explains that, in essence, the H.R. 1997 states that any bodily injury or death caused to a fetus in utero is an offense separate from any crime against the mother. The paper presents other related perspectives, then goes on to explain that many people were concerned that an overexpansion of fetal rights would start eroding a woman's right to abortion, but the author dismisses these as flawed arguments. The paper concludes by noting that Senator John Kerry, who opposed the law in the belief that it would affect abortion rights, was in fact a Roman Catholic and was criticized by bishops for his stance.
The Law in Summary
The Law in Summary
From the Paper:"Another writer (Wood, 2005) has published an article questioning the validity of H.R. 1997. Wood writes from a "feminine perspective" and claims the bill is "disturbing" because the law's logic "...pervades development of crime policy in the United States" (Wood, 2005). The logic that Wood is talking about in her NWSA Journal article is one that "privileges the victimization of middle-class, white women and children (and fetuses), drawing upon their images as ideal victims both to authorize and hide the punishing power of the state." Wood asserts that laws that are passed based on particular victims (and not the general American public) tend to "reinforce a persistent and troubling image of the crime victim as young, white, female, and middle class." Wood goes on to mention other laws that are based on particular crime victims; "Megan's Law" for example (based on seven-year-old Megan Kanka's experience) requires sex offenders to register for ten years following their sentences; "AMBER Alert is based on nine-year-old Amber Hagerman; and the "Three Strikes Law" is based on 12-year-old Polly Klaas. What's wrong with these laws in the name of white, middle class young girls? Nothing, really, other than the lawmakers tend to ignore incidents such as the abduction and rape of "working-class black girls" like Alexis Patterson or Sherrice Iverson. Where is the outrage about those incidents, Woods wants to know, and why are no new laws related to the crimes against them?"
Sample of Sources Used:
- American Civil Liberties Union. "Does the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" (UVVA), Protecting fetal rights, threaten abortion rights?" Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://aclu.procon.org.
- Brooks, Michael. "Believe it or not; people with religious convictions can add a crucial Voice to debates on scientific ethics, as John Kerry has shown." New Scientist, 182(2443), p. 19, (2004).
- FindLaw. "Laci and Conner's Law." (2004). Retrieved November 6, 2008, from http://news.findlaw.com.
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary. "Fetus." Retrieved November 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-Webster.com.
- Minkoff, Howard, & Paltrow, Lynn M. "The rights of 'Unborn Children' and the value of Pregnant women." The Hastings Center Report, 36(2), 26-29, (2006).
Cite this Argumentative Essay:
Perspectives on the "Laci and Conner Law" (2010, July 27) Retrieved November 12, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/perspectives-on-the-laci-and-conner-law-128567/
"Perspectives on the "Laci and Conner Law"" 27 July 2010. Web. 12 November. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/perspectives-on-the-laci-and-conner-law-128567/>