Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Fetus bill passes; Protects the “unborn”

In Washington this week, opponents of abortion gained significant ground as a bill passed through the House of Representatives that will make it a federal crime to harm a fetus.

The bill, which passed by a 252-172 vote, will essentially recognize the fetus as a separate person, and has been labeled as an effort to crack down on criminals who harm ‘unborn children.’

‘This is not an abortion bill,’ said Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. ‘Without this bill, crimes against the innocent victims will go unpunished.’

The new measure applies only to crimes committed in federal jurisdiction; however, 24 states currently have similar statutes.

Representatives are saying that this is not an abortion bill, and that those women who exercise their right to an abortion will be shielded from criminal prosecution, as well as those who perform the operation.

The bill and sensitive nature surrounding it have received plenty of attention, from promoters (including President George Bush) detractors and the media.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Bush issued his support for the bill on behalf of the White House.

‘The administration supports protection for unborn children and therefore supports House passage,’ the White House said in a statement Tuesday.

The issue is an interesting one for all concerned parties, because while the story at hand remains the welfare of unborn children and expecting mothers, the abortion issue is deftly avoided, at least in the sense that we have come to be familiar with it. With that topic suddenly, yet not completely, out of the picture, individuals on both sides of the argument have seen the focal point of their debates pushed to the side.

Now what?

Although it would be a stretch to call the behavior of both sides agreeable, it certainly is hard to denounce a bill that takes into account the life that these victimized women are carrying. While violence against women is something that we have all become familiar with, largely because reported cases of it are frighteningly common, the issue often never moves past that, to the well-being of the ‘unborn children.’

Certainly, a reason for this is that the topic remains one of the more charged discussions that people will involve themselves in. Rarely do you find a person with split feelings; it’s for, it’s against, and generally, that’s it.

This is an issue that, regardless of how individuals stand on abortion, will swing votes to its sides because people (yes, even politicians) want to take a vocal stand in defending the safety and rights of women. Where it goes from here, however, is something that will be told in time.

Information from was used in this story.
Unsigned opinions represent the majority opinion of the Collegian editorial board.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *