Recent legislation passed by the state of New York and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 22, 2019 is already creating a ripple in the state. Police say on February 3, Anthony Hobson fatally stabbed his girlfriend, Jennifer Irigoyen. She was 5 months pregnant.
Hobson was captured on surveillance video dragging Irigoyen from the hallway of her apartment to a stairwell, where police say he knifed the expectant mother multiple times in the torso, neck and abdomen. A witness told the New York Post that the women shouted, “He has a knife! He is going to kill the baby!” She was rushed to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, but neither Irigoyen or the baby could be saved.
Hobson was originally arrested and held without bail on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree abortion, tampering with physical evidence and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The abortion charges were later removed.
A District Attorney spokeswoman told the Post that the abortion charge “was repealed by the Legislature, and this is the law as it exists today.” This law, which was signed on the 46th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision removes abortion from the state’s criminal code and moves it to public health law.
Many have argued that this law removes accountability for those who would seek to harm unborn children outside the context of medical termination of pregnancy.
Governor Cuomo’s office has not commented on the murder case.
If there are no charges related to the death of the unborn child, whom the mother presumably wanted to have, it creates a precedent. An unborn child can be given no chance at life, and there are no repercussions. While the suspect in this particular story will most likely spend years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, what happens in future instances?
If a man simply punches his girlfriend or wife repeatedly in the stomach and the baby dies, does he simply get charged with assault? Is this merely chalked up to a domestic abuse case? Where is the defense of the defenseless?
Removing the pro-life/pro-choice arguments, abortion, as it currently stands, is based on the woman’s right to choose. Aside from the mother’s choice to terminate, the intentional ending of this life is murder.
Where are the legal ramifications when the woman did not make the choice to terminate a pregnancy through medical procedure? How can the New York legislative body believe that this is a good idea?
Is there no justice for the child that was going to be loved by its mother? In a state that does not practice the death penalty because it values life, where is the value of the life of this unborn child? Is this not just a way to legalize murder?
Mitch McKinley is a man of faith, a patriot, a U.S. Army veteran, a member of The Federal Task Force on School and Workplace Shootings – Operation Innocence –, a husband and father of four. He owns his own technology and security consulting firm and is a proud to be a native Texan.