A man accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend has been spared an additional charge of “abortion” after prosecutors realized it was unlikely to stick under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new “Reproductive Health Act.”
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown initially stated that Anthony Hobson, 48, would be charged with second-degree abortion alongside murder after he allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death last week. However, a DA spokesperson later revealed to the New York Post that the charge had been “repealed by the Legislature, and this is the law as it exists today.”
Jennifer Irigoyen, 35, who was five months pregnant, was discovered with stab wounds to the neck and torso inside an apartment building on Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood, according to WABC-TV.
“This was a heinous crime,” District Attorney Richard Brown said following news of the incident. “A woman was brutally stabbed, killing her and the unborn child. 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.”
Why does the new law affect the defendant’s legal position?
Governor Cuomo signed the RHA Jan. 22, on the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. The controversial law, which effectively allows abortion up until birth, also removes abortion from the state’s penal code and instead adds it to public health law. As we’ve seen in this case, this drastically affects the way in which the law is applied to incidents in which an unborn baby is violently killed. In essence, the law attempts to further strip away the value and personhood from the pre-born.
What has the reaction been like?
Many who are part of New York’s large Catholic population have called for justice in the sickening case and a further amendment in the law which would ensure convictions for baby murderers. “It’s evil,” declared a nurse who was attending Mass at the Church of St. Agnes in Midtown, according to the outlet. “It’s a progressive slippery slope.”
A 5-months pregnant mother was murdered in Queens last week. Both her and her baby deserve justice.@NYGovCuomo’s new abortion law denies any justice for the slaying of the baby.
Children ALL deserve protection – inside and outside of the womb. https://t.co/SOTZBQos8G
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) February 10, 2019
“I’m enraged,” added Rose deMarco, 78. “That was murder. [Hobson] murdered two people and he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Dennis Poust of the New York State Catholic Conference went even further, arguing that the criminal exemptions catered for by the new law “means it’s open season on pregnant women in New York.”
With 38 states and the federal government making it unambiguously illegal to kill a fetus against the mother’s will, critics insist that the case demonstrates just how out of touch New York has become on the issue.
“The fact that this is no longer the case in New York shows how out of step this new law is both with the rest of America and with common sense,” said Rev. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, as reported by the Post.
Assemblyman Brian Manktelow (R-Wayne County) added that lawmakers in New York are effectively saying that “you can take a life and escape any punishment.”
“How as a society can you allow that to happen?” he asked.
Cuomo’s office has refused to make any statements on the murder case.