Senator Bruce Starr: Revised Bill Protects Pregnant Women

Senator Starr Introduces New Bill Today
By State Senator Bruce Starr,

(Salem) New legislation was introduced today by State Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) to protect pregnant women in Oregon. “This is designed to send a strong message to perpetrators that commit this type of horrific crime,” said Starr referring to the murder of 21-year old Heather Snively in Beaverton on June 5th. Snively was eight months pregnant. Investigators say the baby was cut from the womb.

House Bill 3505 is a revision of an earlier measure proposed by Starr last week. The new bill establishes that knowingly assaulting or killing a pregnant woman falls under the category of aggravated murder. “By elevating this crime of maternal homicide to aggravated murder it carries the death penalty or life in prison for the maximum penalty,” explained Senator Bruce Starr.

The defendant in the case, 27-year old Korena Roberts, is currently charged with murder but action by a Washington County grand jury and the District Attorney may lead to additional charges. Washington County DA Bob Hermann is prosecuting the Roberts case. He said, “this legislation would provide long needed law that recognizes the seriousness of an assault of a pregnant woman and provides appropriate sanctions for the crime.”

“The current aggravated murder law includes court employees and victims under 14 among others,” noted Starr. “I would argue pregnant women are certainly very vulnerable and need a special level of protection.”

HB 3505 was introduced today “at the request of Chris Popp in memory of John Stephen Popp and Heather Shively.” Chris Popp is Shively’s boyfriend and the unborn child’s name was John Stephen Popp.

“Someone has to protect babies and mothers from this horrendous crime,” said Chris Popp. “Hopefully this legislation sponsored by Senator Starr will deter similar crimes from happening to other families. No one should ever have to experience the loss we have. Losing not only one, but two family members makes this an aggravated crime.”

The first legislation Starr drafted would have given DA’s the ability to prosecute for murder, manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide for the death of an unborn child. If the infant didn’t draw a breath, it does not meet the legal muster for a second murder charge under current law. In addition to changes in the aggravated murder statute, HB 3505 also increases this type of assault to a first degree crime with a maximum 20-year sentence and $375,000 penalty. The Oregon District Attorneys Association and other groups supported similar legislation in 2005.

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  • Joe

    But will this bill prevent an abortion doctor from doing the exact same thing???

  • Sagano

    Interesting they charged this woman with theft of a fetus and not murder.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Hey, remember when this crime was remarkable? It was something like six or seven years ago. I don’t remember where it was, I think it was Virginia or something like that, but the nation was shocked that a woman would kill and then cut a fetus out. That made front page news.

    This time around. Ho Hum.

    Personally I tend to think the relegating of this once astonishing and horrendous crime to the realm of the commonplace says something about us as a society.

    The battle over this bill, the thorny stepping around the issue so as not to interfere with abortions quick and ready obtainment will probably say a little more.

    Kind of weird isn’t it?

    Im still trying to sort out where we are on the baby thing. We have a love hate relationship with infantacide in this country. Baby killer was said as a bad thing back in the Vietnam days, now its almost a good term . I guess the point being that when it comes to killing babies, youd better charge for the service, not actually be in “the service”. Olive drab and M16’s are bad, vacume cleaners and stirrups are not only good but heroic.

    Go figure.

    Anyway, Im trying to boil this all down to some basic guidlines. Hopefully they will help our legislators on this diffuclt path:

    If someone is mean to mommy and sticks a knife in her belly and kills baby in the ninth month, that’s really bad. If someone charges mommy a lot of money before they stick a knife in her belly to kill the baby that’s really good.

    If baby dies because its inconvenient to mommy’s lifestyle, that’s ok. If baby dies because its got in the way of someone taking mommy’s purse, that’s murder. Its ok to kill baby because of lifestyle. Its bad to kill baby because you want money unless you give mommy a bill and have a really funny chair in your office, then its really good to kill baby. Killing babies is really bad unless you bill for it.

    If mommy waits to long to kill baby, nine months and a day, wow, that’s really bad. Mommy can’t kill her baby after its out …… silly billy.

    If mommy goes and hires someone to kill baby at nine months and a day. That’s ok, he can hold the baby in mommy and kill it. That man is a hero because he killed babies. If someone kills him, that’s really bad and even the president will agree its really bad to kill that man.

    So, if you kill the baby while its in mommy to steal mommy’s wallet, that’s bad. If you kill the baby while its coming out of mommy and charge her for that, that’s really good.

    • come again?

      Characterizing legal abortions performed by a physician at the request of a pregnant woman as being equal to murder is exactly the sort of rhetoric that enables and encourages actual murderers like the one who shot Tiller.

      If you don’t like the law Rupert, then get it changed. But don’t call legal abortions murder.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        OK – Ill tone it down, just so long as you also assume similar responsibility for your words.

        Funny how dissent works ain’t it? When dissent comes from the left its perfectly ok. In fact it’s healthy. When it comes from the right, all of a sudden we get concerned about it generating violence.

        Oh well.

        It’s my opinion, and probably the opinion of most Americans, that holding a baby inside the mother so you can stick a pair of scissors in the back of its head and kill it is murder. That’s what partial birth abortion is and that’s what this doctor was known for performing.

        You don’t like it? Too bad. Don’t try this BS tactic that if you speak out about something you are encouraging violence.

        Tell you what, I will totally and unconditionally accept your proposal if you apply the same standard to yourself and others on other issues. If I can have a promise from you that speaking out against the Iraq war, criticizing Bush policies regarding detainees and that sort of thing encourages terrorism I will unconditionally retract my remarks. If I see you state right here and now that criticizing Bush policies emboldened terrorists, and encouraged violence I will see you as an honest man and retract everything I said. I will apologize right here for my comments if you will simply apply to yourself what you ask of me.

        Seems pretty reasonable to me. I have a feeling far more people think partial birth abortion is murder than think water boarding is torture.

        Gee, wonder if you can do it.

        I’m so excited. I’m just all a twitter. I think I will put on traditional garb and do my *partial birth abortion is murder* dance.

        It’s kind of based on an Irish jig,except I wear leaderhosen with a lot of fring. The dance is punctuated by high jumps during the chorus of *”partial birth abortion is murder”*.

        Oh – And I say that part a lot louder – *partial birth abortion is murder*

        Oh the pageantry…..what will you do?…..what will you do?

        • come again?

          “OK – Ill tone it down…”

          and later: “holding a baby inside the mother so you can stick a pair of scissors in the back of its head and kill it is murder.”

          “that’s what this doctor was known for performing.”

          So called “partial birth abortion” was deemed illegal in 2003 by Congress, signed into law by the president. If Dr Tiller was still performing that procedure he should have been arrested and tried in a court of law.

          “Tell you what, I will totally and unconditionally accept your proposal if you apply the same standard to yourself and others on other issues. If I can have a promise from you that speaking out against the Iraq war, criticizing Bush policies regarding detainees and that sort of thing encourages terrorism I will unconditionally retract my remarks.”

          I do apply the same standard to myself. I don’t speak for others. The standard I apply is that I try not to write or say things that dance up to the line that encourages others to do what I don’t have the lack of moral qualms or guts to do myself. No one said anything about stifling your right to dissent. Dissent all you want. Just don’t accuse people of committing heinous crimes when they are in fact performing legally sanctioned medical procedures on patients who asked for their help.

          “If I see you state right here and now that criticizing Bush policies emboldened terrorists, and encouraged violence..”

          Sorry Rupert. Criticizing the policies or judgment of my elected president is not the same as accusing him of being a criminal who should presumably) be killed.

          “Seems pretty reasonable to me. I have a feeling far more people think partial birth abortion is murder than think water boarding is torture.”

          Maybe yes and maybe no. Both happen to be illegal under US law. You were aware of that?

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Ok – So I knew you wouldn’t have any examples of this applying the “inciting to violence” standard to those you agree with. That’s why this isn’t about “inciting violence” at all. It’s about slapping down some liberal boiler plate and hoping you can get away with it.

            That’s right – I think you are a boiler plate slapper. I dont think you considered for a second the absurdity of saying my statements incite violence, but the accusations towards Bush of torture and lying get a pass.

            I dont think that crossed your mind at all. Well, maybe Im wrong. I might wear fringed lederhosen and do an abortion dance, but Im a fair man.

            OK – Last time. Three more chances to prove me wrong and get a full apology from me.

            *I know you didn’t chastise anyone for saying “Bush lied, people died”, and that, my friend, is accusing the president of both treason and murder. You sure didn’t speak out about “inciting violence ” then I bet.*

            Show me a cut and paste from one blog anywhere where you chastised someone for that, the same way you did me and I will apologize.

            that’s one

            *I know you didn’t go on a tear against the film industry when “Death of a President” came out to much fanfare. That sure seemed to be encouraging violence. I bet you didn’t have thing one to say about it.*

            Show me a cut and paste from one blog anywhere where you chastised someone for that, the same way you did me and I will apologize.

            that’s two

            *The shoe throwing incident during the last weeks in office? Oh I bet you giggled. That was actual violence.*

            Show me a cut and paste from one blog anywhere where you chastised someone for that, the same way you did me and I will apologize.

            that’s three

            That three concrete examples where you can disprove me. All cut and pastes must be verifiable, in other words provide a link.

            Pretty simple stuff… but you wont be able to do it. Because we know your concerns for inciting violence only come up when its something you don’t like hearing.

            Get used to your patently false “inciting violence” shtick to be treated with the cavernous vapidity its issuance deserves.

            Currently I am laughing at you, that’s right, in my fringed lederhosen as I do my jig in your general direction.

            Ha Ha Ha…. your indignation is absurd and yet the dance …. why the dance still goes on!…..diddle de didle de didle de dum…didle de didle de diddle ta de

            I am so mocking you I am now doing both the dance of absurdity and making the opening and closing flapping jaws sign with my hand……right at you!!!!!…. ha ha those are my two most annoying gestures, combined with ridiculous wardrobe to signify the repect I have for your sillyness……….ha ha… that means I am laughing at you in the gregarious manner of my people have made famous……HA HA HA!

            diddle de diddle de diddle de de……

          • come again?

            “I know you didn’t chastise anyone for saying “Bush lied, people died”, and that, my friend, is accusing the president of both treason and murder. ”

            I’m not your friend, but otherwise you are right, I didn’t chastise anyone for that. But I also don’t equate that statement as an accusation of either treason or murder. Callousness and indifference yes. Treason? Hardly the first president who lied and won’t be the last. Murder? No. He acted lawfully if stupidly.

            “I know you didn’t go on a tear against the film industry when “Death of a President” ….”

            Right you are again. But then I never heard of that film until now. I must have missed the fanfare and thus the chance to go on a tear.

            “The shoe throwing incident during the last weeks in office? Oh I bet you giggled. That was actual violence.”

            I don’t recall giggling no. I recall having mixed emotions. On the one hand, I resented having someone throw a shoe at my president, even though he was a president I did not like or agree with on much of anything. On the other hand, it was a fitting moment given how low Bush had sunk. Truthfully I felt sorry for Bush more than anything else.

            Had Dr Tiller only had a shoe thrown at him we would not be having this exchange. There is actual violence and then there is a frustrated person acting out.

            As for the rest….why do I get the sense your laughter is only thinly masking your embarrasment over the indefensible position you placed yourself in? Another way of changing the subject.

  • Reper

    I am surprised that Craigs List has not recieved more heat from this episode. You know, people calling for Craigs List control.

  • Mariek

    I’d rather have Sen. Starr’s other bill that allows a murder to be charged with the death of an unborn child. That bill was also at the request of Chris Popp.

    I am not sure why this bill is needed. The grand jury handed down four aggravated murder charges without this bill so how would this bill help with the injustice of Roberts not being charge with the murder of the baby.

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