President Bush is using Laci Peterson’s name in a campaign commercial that premieres today. The San Francisco Chronicle says the ad criticizes Democratic opponent John Kerry for missing Senate votes while on the campaign trail, yet returning to oppose a measure that made it two separate crimes to harm a pregnant woman and her fetus. The 30-second spot says Kerry has missed over two thirds of the Senate’s votes while campaigning for president, yet he “found time to vote against the Laci Peterson law that protects pregnant women from violence. Kerry has his priorities. Are they yours?”
The Kerry campaign responded with a six-page rebuttal that documents Kerry’s prosecution of rapists and support for victims as a Massachusetts prosecutor 25 years ago. It quotes a Washington Post article that claims Bush has spent 43 percent of his time in office on vacation or at a vacation spot. Peterson and her unborn son were discovered dead in the San Francisco Bay last year. Her husband, Scott Peterson, is on trial for the killings. The law cited, which applies only in federal cases, became an issue in the abortion debate by recognizing a fetus as a separate victim. Peterson is being charged under state laws.