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An Arizona man who killed his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn child is the first to have been convicted under a 2005 state law that protects pregnant women and their babies from violence.

The unborn victims law allows prosecutors to hold criminals accountable for both deaths.

Jorge Gurrola, 24, received two counts of second degree murder for killing Monica Sanchez and killing her seven week old unborn child.

Including Arizona, some 34 states have the laws, which gained national prominence with the deaths of Laci and Connor Peterson, and 24 of them protect both mother and child throughout pregnancy.

Arizona state legislators strengthened the law in 2005 just months after Scott Peterson was convicted for killing his wife and child.


[3Feb07, Phoenix,]