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NC Gov. Pat McCrory Signs Lily's Law

5:59 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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Mebane, NC -- Each year, according to the CDC, about 300,000 pregnant women are abused by their partners; a lot of them lose their babies in the attack.

As of this week, an Alamance County woman has successfully pushed for a law in North Carolina that goes after the attacker - even if the child is born alive before succumbing to injuries from the attack.

It's called "Lily's Law" and it's in honor of Danna Fitzgerald's little girl.

Fitzgerald stood by Governor Pat McCrory's side on Wednesday in Raleigh and watched as he signed Lily's name into law.

Danna says it was closure almost four years in the making and now her little girl has justice.

"The justice is bittersweet. But if she can help make it a little easier, that there won't be that fight of 'well, we don't have any precedence for this.' Well, now they do and now they have the law to back it up," Danna said tearfully.

Her case started in 2008. The Mebane woman was about 27 weeks pregnant with Lily.

On an October afternoon, Danna's husband, Richard Broom, shot her in her stomach. They had argued about his alleged infidelity and Danna says she thought they were working through it when her husband left the room and came back to shoot her.

The bullet did not directly hit the fetus but Danna says doctors told her the only way to save her was to deliver the baby prematurely.

Lily lived 31 days before dying from complications.

"I held her until she took her very last breath," Danna said through tears, recalling the day. "When she died, to me, it was murder."

But the courts had no precedent, she said. Attorneys had to fight to prove that Broom's attack on his wife was directly linked to the baby's death.

Danna says Lily got her first justice when Broom was convicted with First-degree murder. He appealed and lost.

The next day, the mother says she walked into Alamance County Senator Rick Gunn's office and asked for "Lily's Law."

"I wanted that for her legacy. I wanted her sacrifice, because she's kept me alive, I wanted to honor her. Thank her. And if we can make it easier for someone else if this happens, it's a law. It's crystal clear now," she said.

Danna's family was with her in Raleigh when the governor signed the law.

Danna says the governor gave Lily's 10-year-old sister the pen he signed the bill with and, to her, it shows the young girl anyone can effect change no matter how young.

 

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