The search for Laci Peterson and her son is over. Reported missing since Christmas Eve of last year, the bodies of Laci and her unborn son Connor washed ashore from San Francisco Bay in Richmond, California on April 14, ending months of fear and uncertainty for Laci’s family and friends. Now, with the arrest and charging of husband Scott Peterson for the double murders of Laci and Connor, everyone can now hope that justice will be done. Well … almost everyone.

On April 20, the Morris County Daily Record in New Jersey quoted Mavra Stark, the president of the local chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), as saying, “There’s something about this that bothers me a little bit. Was it born, or was it unborn? If it was unborn, then I can’t see charging [Peterson] with a double-murder.”

Stark went on to tell the reporter that the case could provide ammunition for the “pro-life” lobby. “If this is murder, well, then any time a late-term fetus is aborted, they could call it murder,” Stark said.

Several days later, after a flood of angry phone calls and letters from across the country, Stark back-pedaled dramatically from her earlier statements. “I was thinking out loud,” Stark said, according to the Daily Record.

Stark told the Daily Record that the “viability of the Peterson fetus … makes a great deal of difference” in evaluating the criminal case.”

According to the Daily Record, Stark spoke with the national vice president of NOW, Terry O’Neill, and was told by O’Neill that NOW “felt it wasn’t the right thing to take a position right now” on either the Peterson case or fetal homicide statutes.”

Not the right thing to do? According to NOW’s Web site, the organization is “dedicated to making legal, political, social and economic change in our society in order to achieve our goal, which is to eliminate sexism and end all oppression.” The Laci Peterson case is drawing national attention. There is no better time to step forward for the rights of pregnant women than right now.

Clearly this is a baby that Laci Peterson was intending to have. What if she had lived and only the baby, eight months into the pregnancy, had died. Would that just be an unfortunate accident? In championing a woman’s right to abort a baby, shouldn’t NOW also champion a woman’s right to keep her baby? In remaining silent on the double murder charge, NOW is showing that it is more concerned about safe-guarding its abortion position than seeing this case for what it is: the tragic death of a mother and her son, who although unborn, was loved, wanted, and viable.

During the White House press briefing on April 25, Spokesman Ari Fleischer said, “This is a tragic case.”

“The President does believe that when an unborn child is injured or killed during the commission of a crime of violence, the law should recognize what most people immediately recognize, and that is that such a crime has two victims,” Fleischer added.

In addressing the loss of an unborn child as representing the loss of a viable human being, Fleischer said, “[T]he President calls on the House and calls on the Senate to again pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, so that the law can recognize what every mother and father know in their heart when an unborn child is taken through an act of violence, in the commission of a crime, just as we’ve seen in this case here.”

The President has it right, and organizations like NOW, NARAL, and others have it wrong. In a recent survey shown on Fox News, 84 percent of those surveyed felt that if Scott Peterson is guilty, he should be charged with two murders. Public opinion is clear on this issue, and for NOW and others to continue in their opposition reveals their fear when they could be revealing compassion. Their fear of losing ground in their quest to keep abortion legal at any phase of pregnancy, and to grant no rights to the unborn child regardless of viability or the desires of the mother, has blinded these groups to the realities of the views of the American public.

When a mother loses her child as the result of an assault against her, then that unborn child is the victim of murder. NOW should be supporting this type of legislation. Instead, all one has to do is visit their web site. Scrolling down their list of “frequently asked questions,” below their statement of wanting to end oppression, one will find answers to the question: “Where can I find a list of abortion providers?”

The agenda of NOW is clear. If they were truly pro-woman, then they would also be pro-mother.

”’Bobby Eberle is President and CEO of GOPUSA, a news, information and commentary company based in Houston, TX. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rice University. See the company’s Web site at:”’ http://www.GOPUSA.com

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