Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: May 22, 2008
Sen. Debbe Leftwich
Leftwich Wins Senate Approval for “Scum of the Earth Bill”
The state Senate on Thursday voted in favor of strengthening penalties
for assaulting pregnant women. House Bill 1897, known as the “Scum
of the Earth Bill”, would allow felony charges to be filed
against a person who assaults a woman and causes her to miscarry.
Noting that domestic violence is the number one cause of death
among pregnant women, Senate author Debbe
Leftwich said the state has a moral and legal responsibility
to address the problem.
“More than 3,000 pregnant women in Oklahoma are attacked
each year, usually by the father of the child,” said Leftwich,
D-Oklahoma City. “The statistics clearly show that pregnant
women are at a greater risk, and it’s our responsibility to
put abusers behind bars. This is an especially heinous crime that
demands very serious punishment.”
Under HB 1897, a person convicted of beating a woman they knew
to be pregnant could be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to
a year in jail. If convicted of a second offense, an offender would
be guilty of a felony and face up to ten years in jail. If the attack
resulted in a miscarriage or injury to the unborn child, it would
be a felony with a penalty of at least 20 years in prison.
“We need to enact policies that can help us step in and
prevent tragedies from happening,” Leftwich said. “I
believe this legislation provides a strong deterrent and provides
law enforcement with the tools to prevent abuse. I’m pleased
the Senate approved the bill and look forward to its implementation”
The measure now advances to the Governor.
For more information contact:
Sen. Leftwich's Office: (405) 521-5557