Family Research Council

The 14th Victim at Fort Hood

By Ken Blackwell


Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The American Thinker on July 29, 2012.


I have written recently of President Obama's "covert zeal" for the spread of abortion. I took that phrase from Abraham Lincoln's description of how President Franklin Pierce and Sen. Stephen A. Douglas sought -- covertly -- to spread slavery in the 1850s. In that column, I noted specific actions of this president to advance abortion-on-demand and to force us all to pay for it.

Now, I want to focus on something Mr. Obama is not doing. He is not charging Nidal Hasan, the accused Fort Hood killer, with violation of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA). This law was passed and signed in 2004. After the highly publicized conviction of Scott Peterson in California for the murder of his wife and her unborn child, the law was named the Laci and Conner Peterson Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

There would seem to be no possibility of controversy in charging Hasan with violating the UVVA. After all, it is indisputable that one of those killed was pregnant at the time of her death. Nor did the mother, Army Private Francheska Velez, contemplate an abortion. There would be no question of her exercising "choice" in this matter. In fact, her last words, most poignantly reported, were:"My baby! my baby!"

It was for just such heinous crimes that the UVVA was passed. It covers only those instances where a crime of violence is committed on federal property, or where other crimes covered by the federal code are being committed. This is how Wikipedia describes UVVA (citations removed).

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-212) is a United States law which recognizes a "child in utero" as a legal victim, if he or she is injured or killed during the commission of any of over 60 listed federal crimes of violence. The law defines "child in utero" as "a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb".

The law is codified in two sections of the United States Code: Title 18, Chapter 1 (Crimes), �1841 (18 USC 1841) and Title 10, Chapter 22 (Uniform Code of Military Justice) �919a (Article 119a).

So, it is a law incorporated into the U.S. Code, and, most significantly in this case, it is applied to the military by being included in the UCMJ. Hasan was assigned to Fort Hood. So were all those who died. There could be no question of the UVVA not applying in this case.

Apart from his "covert zeal" for abortion, what could explain President Obama's failure to apply this law in this case? He obviously has a problem with the law "recogniz[ing] the child in utero." But the law can in no way conflict with the Supreme Court's abortion rulings. This young mother chose life -- for herself and her unborn child. The law does no more than recognize what we all know to be true. Even Joe Klein, that veritable liberal, acknowledges in his TIME Magazine column that "that thing in the womb is a human being." But President Obama does not want to recognize that simple truth.

The failure to charge Nidal Hasan with violation of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act is another instance of this president's failure to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Americans are becoming increasingly pro-life. It is high time that the laws that protectunborn victims of violence be duly enforced.

Meet The Author
Ken Blackwell Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment

Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council. He serves on the board of directors of the Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers (Full Bio)

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