Bush signs Unborn Victims of Violence Act
The president's first bill signing ceremony of the year was for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

"Any time an expectant mother is a victim of violence, two lives are in the balance, each deserving protection, and each deserving justice," President Bush said (text | audio | video). "If the crime is murder and the unborn child's life ends, justice demands a full accounting under the law. … With this action, we widen the circle of compassion and inclusion in our society, and we reaffirm that the United States of America is building a culture of life."

"This law does not impinge on abortion rights in any immediate sense," says an editorial in today's Washington Post. "It is, however, part of a long-term pattern in which legal abortion is surrounded by criminal laws and other regulations that protect fetuses and define them in legal terms as separate individuals. This new law will aid criminal enforcement only marginally; it will be another unwarranted step toward making constitutionally protected abortion seem an anomaly in the context of law."

In other words: Gee, it seems a bit incongruous to say that the fetus is "member of the species homo sapiens" while we basically have abortion-on-demand in this country. Anyone disagree?

More news reports on the signing:

  • Bush signs anti-violence law that extends into the womb | President Bush on Thursday signed legislation making it a separate crime to harm an embryo or fetus during the commission of a violent federal crime against a pregnant woman. And he declared that, with the new law, the United States was "building a culture of life" (Los Angeles Times)

  • Bush signs unborn victims act | Federal law establishes 2 crimes against pregnant women (The Washington Post)

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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