Ovanstående bild visar den amerikanska kvinnan, Tracy Marciniak, när hon i samband med begravningen tar avsked av sin ofödde son. Pojken, vars namn var tänkt att bli Zachariah, mördades av sin egen far fem dagar innan det planerade förlossningsdatumet. Precis som i dagens Sverige fanns det dock vid denna tidpunkt, i delstaten Wisconsin, ingen juridisk möjlighet att straffa någon för våld mot en ofödd person. Enligt lagen i dagens Sverige och dåtidens Wisconsin kan man bara se ett och inte två brottsoffer på ovanstående bild och ingen människa har dött.
Flera liknande fall där våldsverkare har överfallit gravida kvinnor med avsikten att skada eller döda deras ofödda barn har inträffat också i Sverige. Förövarna har då bara straffats för misshandeln av kvinnan. Enligt den nuvarande svenska lagstiftningen är det inte mer förkastligt att sparka en gravid- än en icke gravid kvinna i magen. Att döda någons efterlängtade barn ger inget straff alls och detta trots att regeringen förra året beslutade om en lagrådsremiss i riktning mot att förändra folkbokföringslagen, så att foster som dör i samband med missfall i vecka 22 eller senare skall klassificeras som ett avlidet barn och få ett dödsbevis utfärdat.
Personligen anser jag att denna ordning är en skam för vårt land och en kränkning av den allmänna rättuppfattningen och jag beklagar att den borgerliga regeringen, trots att flera av deras egna riksdagsledamöter tidigare lyft frågan, inte har gjort ett dyft för att åtgärda problemet.
När Tracy Marciniak återhämtat sig från den misshandel som hennes make utsatte henne för började hon kämpa för en lagändring som retroaktivt skulle erkänna hennes son som en människa och ett brottsoffer. 1998 införde också Wisconsin en ny lag som gör det straffbart att medvetet skada ett önskat ofött barn. En sådan lagstiftning finns nu i 35 amerikanska delstater och även i andra länder såsom Frankrike. Tracy har därefter gått vidare för att försöka få till stånd en liknande lagändring även på den federala nivån i USA.
Nedanstående är ett sammandrag från ett tal som hon höll inför det amerikanska representanthuset, tyvärr finns det inte översatt till svenska:
I respectfully ask that the members of the subcommittee to examine the photograph that you see before you. In this photo, I am holding the body of my son, Zachariah Nathanial.
Often, when people see this photo for the first time, it takes a moment for them to realize that Zachariah is not peacefully sleeping. Zachariah was dead in this photograph. This photo was taken at Zachariah’s funeral.
I carried Zachariah in my womb for almost nine full months. He was killed in my womb, only five days from his delivery date. The first time I ever held him in my arms, he was already dead. This photo shows the second time I held him, which was the last time.
There is no way that I can really tell you about the pain I feel when I visit my son’s grave site in Milwaukee, and at other times, thinking of all that we missed together. But that pain was greater because the man who killed Zachariah got away with murder.
Mr. Chairman, I ask you and the other members of the committee to look at this photograph and ask yourselves: Does it show one victim, or two?
If you look at this photo and see two victims – a dead baby and a grieving mother who survived a brutal assault – then you should support the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
I know that some lawmakers and some groups insist that there is no such thing as an unborn victim, and that crimes like this only have a single victim – but that is callous and it is wrong. Please don’t tell me that my son was not a real victim of a real crime. We were both victims, but only I survived.
Zachariah’s delivery date was to be February 13, 1992. But on the night of February 8, my own husband brutally attacked me at my home in Milwaukee. He held me against a couch by my hair. He knew that I very much wanted my son. He punched me very hard twice in the abdomen. Then he refused to call for help, and prevented me from calling.
After about 15 minutes of my screaming in pain that I needed help, he finally went to a bar and from there called for help. I and Zachariah were rushed by ambulance to the hospital, where Zachariah was delivered by emergency Caesarean section. My son was dead. The physicians said he had bled to death inside me because of blunt-force trauma.
My own injuries were life-threatening. I nearly died. I spent three weeks in the hospital.
During the time I was struggling to survive, the legal authorities came and they spoke to my sister. They told her something that she found incredible. They told her that in the eyes of Wisconsin law, nobody had died on the night of February 8.
My life already seemed destroyed by the loss of my son. But there was so much additional pain because the law was blind to what had really happened. The law, which I had been raised to believe was based on justice, was telling me that Zachariah had not really been murdered.
Before his trial, my attacker said on a TV program that he would never have hit me if he had thought he could be charged with killing an unborn baby.
Mr. Chairman, we surviving family members of unborn victims of violence are not asking for revenge. We are begging for justice – justice like we were brought up to believe in and trust in. Justice means that the penalty must fit the crime, but that is only part of it – justice also requires that the law must recognize the true nature of a crime.
Please hear me on this: On the night of February 8, 1992, there were two victims. I was nearly killed – but I survived. Little Zachariah died.
Mr. Chairman, I understand very well that the Unborn Victims of Violence Act would apply only to federal crimes and federal jurisdictions. Therefore, even if this bill had been in force on the day I was attacked, it would not have applied to Zachariah.
But you know very well that there have been in the past cases like ours that did occur in federal jurisdictions and during federal crimes. And you know that tragically, such cases are bound to occur in the future. I do not want to think of any surviving mother being told what I was told – that she did not really lose a baby, that nobody really died. I say, no surviving mother, father, or grandparent should ever again be told that their murdered loved one never even existed in the eyes of the law.
No Effect on Abortion
The Wisconsin law has been in effect for five years now and it has had no effect on legal abortion. Legal abortion is specifically exempted under that law. The bill that you are considering also has a specific exemption for abortion. Opponents of the bill should stop trying to turn it into an abortion issue.
It really boils down to the question that I asked you earlier. Does the photograph show one victim, or two?
Some lawmakers say that criminals who attack pregnant women should be punished more severely, but that the law must never recognize someone’s unborn child as a legal victim. For example, I have read Congresswoman Lofgren’s proposal, which she calls the ”Motherhood Protection Act.” There is only one victim in that bill – the pregnant woman. So if you vote for that bill, you are really saying all over again to me, ”We’re sorry, but nobody really died that night. There is no dead baby in the picture. You were the only victim.”
More importantly, you would be saying to all of the future mothers, fathers, and grandparents, who lose their unborn children in future federal crimes, ”You didn’t really lose a baby.”
Please don’t tell us that. Please don’t tell me that my son was not a real murder victim. If you really think that nobody died that night, if you really think there is no dead baby in the picture, then vote for the Lofgren bill. But please remember Zachariah’s name and face when you decide.
Tack till Ja till livet som sammanställt mycket av den information som denna artikel bygger på och som drivit frågan i många år.