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NC Bishops Call on Faithful to Support Unborn Victims of Violence Act

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today we are asking for your support for a bill under discussion in the state legislature that supports the life of the unborn.

Senate bill 353 is entitled The Unborn Victims Of Violence Act/Ethen's Law. This law seeks to make harming a fetus at any stage of life in the womb a serious crime. The bill would allow a person charged with murder, manslaughter or assault against a pregnant woman to be charged with a second count against the woman's fetus. Current North Carolina law does not qualify the death of a fetus or unborn child as a result of a violent crime as a separate crime or homicide.

Ethen’s Law pays tribute to a pregnant North Carolina woman who was stabbed to death in 2007. Her murder resulted in the death of her unborn son.

Similar laws to protect the unborn exist in 35 states and were enacted into federal law in 2004. Bills to protect the unborn have been introduced into the state legislature for several decades but have never been debated.

The bill is not perfect. Because abortion is currently legal, the bill does not protect unborn fetuses who lose their lives in the heinous procedure of abortion. However, the bill is an important step in recognizing that the most vulnerable among us, the unborn innocents, can be protected under the law in North Carolina.

Please click here to take action by sending your state senator an email showing your support of this legislation.

In Christ,

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Raleigh

The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis
Bishop of Charlotte