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House Increases Penalties for Crimes Against Pregnant WomenSalem-News.com
“We must, as a Legislature, make sure that our prosecutors have the tools in place to deal swiftly and surely with those who commit violence against pregnant women” - State Rep. Vicki Berger
(SALEM, Ore.) - The Oregon House on Wednesday passed legislation increasing penalties for crimes against pregnant women.
House Bill 3505-A would require a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for murder against a pregnant woman. Second degree assault charges would be moved up to first degree assault. Fourth degree assault, currently a misdemeanor, would be charged as a Class C felony.
“In too many cases, violence against women often occurs during pregnancy. It is critical that we send a clear message that violence against all women is intolerable, but that violence against pregnant women is cause an even harsher sentence,” said State Rep. Judy Steigler (D-Bend).
“Whether the cause of the murder is a heinous crime such as the Heather Shiveley case or a domestic violence situation, we must send a clear signal that violence against pregnant women is cause for strong penalties.”
State Rep. Vicki Berger (R-Salem) spoke in strong support of the bill.
“These cases are particularly difficult. It is heartbreaking to see the pain a family suffers when crimes against pregnant women occur,” said Berger.
“We must, as a Legislature, make sure that our prosecutors have the tools in place to deal swiftly and surely with those who commit violence against pregnant women.”
The bill passed the House on a 56-1 vote and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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