NEW YORK — A Queens man who is accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend will not face a charge for the death of his unborn child due to the new abortion law signed by New York governor Andrew Cuomo. The assailant had originally been charged with “abortion in the second degree,” but as abortion in both the first and second degree were removed from the criminal code via the Reproductive Health Act, the count was consequently dropped and he will not face any penalty for the baby’s death.
Anthony Hobson, 48, was arrested Friday in the death of Jennifer Irigoyen, 35, who was five months pregnant at the time of the incident.
Hobson allegedly attacked Irigoyen in the middle of the night last Sunday as he dragged her out of her apartment and began stabbing her in the vestibule area.
“He’s got a knife! He’s going to kill the baby!” Irigoyen screamed, witness Maurice Roman Zereoue told the New York Post.
Building superintendent Lisa Raymos advised the outlet that surveillance video shows Hobson stabbing his girlfriend’s abdomen area.
“The first time, he stabbed her in the stomach,” she outlined.
Irigoyen also suffered stab wounds in her neck and torso. She was transported to Wyckoff Hospital, but both she and the baby were soon pronounced dead.
Hobson later turned himself in to the police, and was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree abortion, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence.
“A woman was brutally stabbed—killing her and the unborn child,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “The defendant is alleged to have shown no mercy and no regard for human life when he repeatedly and purposely plunged a knife into this expectant mother’s abdomen, torso and neck.”
However, a spokesman for Brown’s office later told the Post that the abortion charge was dropped because of the changes to the criminal code signed by Gov. Cuomo.
“[It] was repealed by the legislature, and this is the law as it exists today,” they explained, according to the article “Accused Murderer Spared Abortion Charge Thanks to Cuomo’s New Law”.
Section 125.40 of New York State law had declared that “[a] person is guilty of abortion in the second degree when he commits an abortional act upon a female.” Second-degree abortion applied to the unborn who were 24 weeks gestation or less, and as Irigoyen’s baby was 20-weeks gestation, the charge initially was filed.
A first-degree abortion charge would have applied to children over 24 weeks, as state homicide law used to read, “Homicide means conduct which causes the death of a person or an unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks.” Second-degree abortion would not be considered an act of homicide, but still an abortive criminal act under the “Homicide, Abortion and Related Offenses” section of the state law, Article 125.
It had defined an “abortional act” as “an act committed upon or with respect to a female, whether by another person or by the female herself, … whether directly upon her body or by the administering, taking or prescription of drugs or in any other manner, with intent to cause a miscarriage of such female.”
While the unborn were not considered persons under the previous law, as it stated that “when referring to the victim of a homicide, [a person] means a human being who has been born and is alive,” killing an unborn child over 24 weeks gestation was still an act of murder, and killing those 24 weeks and under was considered a lesser offense of “abortion in the second degree.”
No longer. The Reproductive Health Act, signed by Cuomo on the 46th year of Roe v. Wade, removed both the first and second degree abortion statutes from the criminal code, including acts of self-abortion.
Read the law in full here. Text crossed out in red refers to that which was struck from the former criminal code.
Realization of the impact of the law has generated outrage over the fact that offenders can get away with killing the unborn, even if the child’s mother wanted to keep the baby.
This “means it’s open season on pregnant women in New York,” Dennis Poust of the New York State Catholic Conference told the Post.
“With New York’s law, we’re saying you can take a life and escape any punishment,” also remarked Assemblyman Brian Manktelow, R-Wayne County. “How as a society can you allow that to happen?”
Irigoyen leaves behind a 12-year-old son from a previous relationship.
Proverbs 16:12 says, “It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness, for the throne is established by righteousness.”
Psalm 94:20 also asks, “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?”
2/11/19: This article has been updated to provide additional information about New York’s previous abortion statute. The headline was also adjusted to provide clarity.