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Archive for Thursday, January 18, 2007

Family pleads for “Alexa’s Law”

January 18, 2007

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A grieving family speaks out

Their pregnant daughter was brutally murdered, and they want lawmakers to hear their story. Enlarge video

When Terri and Darren Brooks found out their 14-year-old daughter Chelsea was pregnant, they were not happy, but they decided Chelsea would keep the baby, and they would help her raise it.

Then, last summer, two weeks before Chelsea was due, she was found, murdered.

The accused killers - Chelsea's boyfriend and the men he hired to help him kill her - were only charged with one murder. That's because Kansas law says when a pregnant woman is murdered, only her death can be prosecuted, not her unborn child's.

One by one, members of the Brooks family took the stand, and told lawmakers about the pain of losing Chelsea, and her unborn baby, Alexa.

"I can't speak eloquently and I don't have speech writers, so I apologize for that, but what I say comes from my heart," Chelsea's older sister Andrea told lawmakers, through tears.

"Chelsea was extraordinary. At 14 she was more prepared to be a mom than most women that I know," Andrea said.

Even though Andrea and her parents never got to meet Baby Alexa, she was already part of their family, and they were ready to welcome her into their lives.

"And then the unthinkable happened, and instead of attending a baby shower we were making funeral arrangements for two," Chelsea's mother Terri Borrks said.

The pain was worsened when they found out the alleged murderers would only be charged with Chelsea's death and not the baby's.

The Brooks' vowed to change the law. Thousands of Kansas agreed with them, and signed a petition to make Alexa's Law a reality, and to make Alexa's life count.

"Alexa's life should count and by passing this law, even though it's too late for justice for Alexa, her life can count in the eyes of the law for future victims of violence," Terri added.

Similar legislation has been blocked in the past by pro-choice advocates who suggest the law would be a stepping stone to outlawing abortion.

The bill's supporters say that's not the intent, and have specifically included language in the bill to avoid that conflict.

Comments

Baille 7 years, 11 months ago

Mike O'Neal, a civil defense attorney from Hutchinson representing the interests of the insurance industry and the committee leader on this issue, has unnecessarily introduced fundamentalist politics in this legislation.

Making feticide a crime makes sense, but it can be done easily and effectively without defining a fetus as a human being. Defining the fetus as a human being is one of the incremental steps needed to undermine women's rights and start launching effective attacks against Roe v. Wade.

Instead of having a good law that punishes wrongdoers, we now have the ingredients necessary to wage another divisive battle between the citizens and special interests of Kansas.

Good job, Mike.

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