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There were two victims in the horrific attack earlier this month on Jennifer Irigoyen in New York City. But the state’s law recognizes only one of them.

Rich Lowry mug

Rich Lowry

Anthony Hobson allegedly dragged his pregnant former girlfriend into the stairwell of her Queens apartment building and stabbed her in the stomach, neck and torso. Irigoyen was in her second trimester. Neither she nor her unborn child survived.

The Queens district attorney initially announced that Hobson would be charged with second-degree murder and abortion, reasonably enough, considering that he stands accused of killing both Irigoyen and her child. Then he dropped the abortion charge in light of the state’s radical new pro-abortion law.

The law aims to bless any abortion under any circumstance, and with a grim consistency doesn’t allow the state specially to punish even violent attacks on the unborn.

The New York State Catholic Conference warned of exactly this prior to passage. “Moving abortion from the Penal Law to the Public Health Law,” it warned, “is a major policy shift that removes accountability for those who would harm unborn children outside the context of medical termination of pregnancy.” No one cared.

New York is wildly out of the mainstream on this question. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of mid-2018, at least 38 states had fetal homicide laws, and 29 of them had laws that applied from conception. There is also a federal law.

It doesn’t take much moral insight to realize that stabbing to death an unborn child is a profound wrong that deserves to be treated as a crime.

But America’s abortion advocates specialize in moral obtuseness. They are opposed to recognition of personhood of any sort for the unborn child, worried that such a concession might undermine the premises of our sweepingly latitudinarian abortion regime.

Such protections raise the question: If an assailant can’t kill a fetus, why can anyone else?

The pro-abortion advocates argue that there’s no practical need for fetal protection laws. Judges, they say, can increase the penalty against an attacker who kills an unborn child. Yes, but there is no guarantee that any given judge will. The charges for a serious assault on a pregnant mother will be stiff regardless, they say. Perhaps, but why ignore one of the crimes?

We don’t say of a mass murderer, “He will spend a lifetime behind bars for one killing, so why charge him with the others?” Justice demands that the state pursue charges in behalf of all the victims.

The pro-abortion forces blinker themselves against how the vast majority of people consider an unborn child.

Even before her child is born, a mother — and her family — sacrifices for her child, protects her child, prays for her child and dreams for her child. She talks to her child, and often names her child. She takes her child to the doctor. She, later in her pregnancy, knows when her child is active and when her child is resting.

Her unborn child, in short, is already what it will be after he or she is born — a cause of worry and joy, and ceaseless wonder at the miracle of life.

It is telling that pro-abortion advocates resort to euphemism even in this season of extremism.

The New York law is called the Reproductive Health Act, an audacious abuse of language; the law is hostile to reproduction and dismissive of the health of unborn children. Two New York legislators wrote a defense of the law that constantly referred to “abortion care,” as if the addition of “care” softens the reality of what they are supporting.

The wordplay is cute, but the fact is that they deliberately denied the most innocent and vulnerable any explicit protection from heinous violence.

This isn’t pro-choice. It isn’t humane. And it doesn’t have anything to do with medicine. In New York, pro-abortion advocates have shown us what they really are, and no one should ever forget.

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Syndicated columnist Rich Lowry can be reached at comments.lowry @nationalreview.com.

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(59) comments

Climatehoax

I just read an article in the leader telegram about a guy who shot the family cat, he was charged. Now liberals want to make after birth, and at birth abortions legal.
Draw your own conclusion about PROGRESSIVE,LIBERAL, DEMO-RATS.

PhysicsIsFun

Here's the other side of the story. https://slate.com/technology/2019/02/late-term-abortion-support-group-lessons-trust-myself-women.html

martian2

thank you for the web site physics. It is eye opening, especially for men who never have to deal with that situation. If they baby is not viable after birth, because of sever defects, or would suffer to the point of being inhumane, then yes it is up to the women to decide what to do. And it should be legal even in the third trimester. I read less than 2% of abortions are in the third trimester, and the many reasons for it are heart wrenching for all involved.

DMoney

Agree with all. But in NY, that percentage is set to go way up.

Cassandra2

Please provide documentation to support your claim, D-bag. We'll wait.

DMoney

Nothing for you. I don't interact with people using such language.

Cassandra2

D-bag can't back up his baloney, so skulks away like the coward he is.

oldhomey

Well, dear sir, I will ask you humbly, as certainly I am not even close to be fully informed on the late tri-mester abortion controversies, how you know that the percentage is set to go way up in New York. Would that be because women in New York are more promiscuous than in other states and will carry babies for more than 24 weeks before deciding to end the embarrassment of having no spouse? Or would it be because women who live in states barring third trimester pregnancies have what you yourself agree are legitimate reasons for ending a late pregnancy, so they will go to New York for one, because it is the nearest state in which it is legal? If that request is civil enough for you to respond to it, would you? Please?

DMoney

Cassandra, I clearly enjoy stating my opinion on these boards. But I won't interact with someone using that language.

DMoney

NY has third most abortions nationally prior to passing the third trimester open season on babies. Now, women who previously couldn't abort during this time, can. Simple supply and demand. More time, more opportunity, more death.

oldhomey

Hmm. You agreed earlier that, yes, there are many wrenching and legitimate reasons for third trimester abortions. So what makes you think that women with no good reason but to convenience themselves will now in droves seek such abortions in NY? The number may go up, but wouldn't that most likely be because they are now legal there, and women who have very good reasons no longer have to leave the state to have those babies aborted?

DMoney

Of course that will be the case, in most instances. But it will allow women who have a change of mind to get a late abortion for less than appropriate reasons. And therefore, there WILL be inappropriate abortions. Even if there are "only" hundreds, it's a travesty.

If the idea of this bill was to focus on only cases where the baby wasn't viable, why the changes to allow risk to woman's health? Why not frame the wording to be specifically for cases where the baby is not viable? Why take doctors out of it? Hmmmmmm

oldhomey

Hmm, indeed, D. So you have already done the computing and have figured out that hundreds of viable, healthy, bouncing babies will be summarily executed upon their birth in New York state by craven mothers who carried the unborn fetus for nine months but at the last second thought, oh, cripes, this is too much bother, kill the little bundle of inconvenience. I guess you really and deeply researched this, so the rest of us should take your word for it. Thanks but no thanks.

DMoney

Well I'm betting the number will approach or surpass the thousands of late term abortions on grounds of "risking health". Again--why change the existing law if that wasn't the intent? Why not specifically state that late term abortions are allowed in cases of lack of viability of the child? Answer the question logically without waffling.

DMoney

That was a tough read. Can't imagine the pain and agony she went through. My view isn't restrictive of situations like that. Can't speak for all pro lifers. I'm vehemently against third trimester abortions for reasons that may impact a woman's well being. If her life is at risk, then I could understand. But emotional, financial, etc? If it results in the termination of a viable, healthy fetus--its murder.

PhysicsIsFun

I'm not sure what you mean by "situations that may impact a woman's well being". I have been involved in the writing of contracts. That sort of language should never be put in a contract or law. It is to open to interpretation. Third trimester abortions performed by a licensed physician would not occur unless the procedure was medically necessary. They are not done on a whim. They are due to tragic circumstances. No one is happy about the decision. Anti abortion people try to characterize it as murder. Physicians pledge to above all do no harm. No ethical physician terminates a viable pregnancy after about 14 weeks unless there is medical necessity.

DMoney

You need to read the actual bill from NY and being discussed in other blue states.

PhysicsIsFun

Dmoney please supply specific language from the bill in New York that demonstrates your contention that third trimester abortions are being performed based on whims of the mothers and would be allowed when pregnant women are just inconvenienced by birth and delivery. I am not saying it has never happened. I just think it is far from the norm. People do all sorts of bad things. Se garage vandalism in LaCrosse. By the way, I have no problem with some public funds used to buy paint.

PhysicsIsFun

The only things I have seen are over the top hysterical antiabortion articles which are stretching the truth to gin up the prolife contingent of the Republican Party.

DMoney

The bill allows for abortion after 24 weeks if the woman's health is risked. It does not define which type of health. Therefore, any type of health would be allowed. And a doctor no longer has to be in agreement, can now be abortion clinics, who's goal is to profit. Think about it. Even if it's rare, it will result in the killing of many viable babies in NY.

DMoney

You are ok with spending money on paint when there are hungry and cold people on the streets?

martian2

what is this about paint? Better lay off the beer there Dmoney. Paint and abortion, what an interesting if not idiotic combination. If you are talking about painting over hate filled graffiti, perhaps you don't want that type of racist hate covered. Maybe you enjoy seeing that type of stuff. Gosh I hope you don't pass that on to your kids. As far as helping the poor and homeless or paint, I think its safe to say we can afford to do both, with your help. Now go to bed and sober up.

DMoney

Read the full chain before flapping your gums, I didn't bring the paint thing into this discussion.

PhysicsIsFun

Health is health. I am not sure I see the distinction. Would you prefer it said physical health, because mental health is not a real thing? So tighten up the language. The issue is still between patient and physician. Either you trust women and doctors to determine if the pregnancy is a threat or not to the health of the mother or not. There is no way to anticipate every possible situation. A pregnancy which is a threat to the mother or a pregnancy which will result in the birth of an nonviable infant should be open to termination later than usual. These types of things sometimes (rarely) are unknown until the 3rd trimester.

oldhomey

I see your deep, careful, thoughtful reading of the New York bill has yielded a totally unspecific description of its intentions and parameters, D. It is not surprising, after reading so many of the lessons you say you have learned from deep careful, thoughtful voluminous reading on WWII, geopolitics and the folly of the Civil War preserving the union.

PhysicsIsFun

Don't forget the deep thoughtful reading of the insane writings of Ayn Rand. If he has not read them he sure should. Dmoney has libertarian written all over him. Many libertarians are fairly young men with a severe streak of selfishness and self aggrandizement running through them.

DMoney

It's in the bill. Go look for yourself, don't take my word for it. I read it, so I could understand it, so I could have an opinion on it. There are obviously different forms of health. But in this decision of life or death for a child, the woman's situation better be life or death. Killing a viable baby for anything less than high likelihood of fatal results for the mother, is murder. And when we're talking murder, I don't care about a woman's rights. Just like I don't care about someone who murders an adult. This is a big reason so many people are outraged. It's crossed a line.

Go read this bill prior to further commenting. It will save you and I some time.

PhysicsIsFun

We get it. You think abortion is murder. Not everyone thinks that is true. You do realize that you are in the minority on this issue.

DMoney

You don't get it. If you did you wouldn't make boneheaded generalizations. One last time, for the record: I can tolerate the status quo on abortion in line with Roe vs. Wade. Third trimester abortion with no limits on the woman crosses the line. It's allows for wonton killing of innocent and viable infants. I'm not sure where the majority stands in public opinion, but just watch and see what happens if this travesty rears it's nasty head in federal government....

DMoney

*wanton

oldhomey

We don't have to read the bill, D, after you so splendidly parsed it out for us in your 10:02pm posting. It said nothing that would raise an alarm that I could see. If that is the best of you can do to spell out its awful provisions, it obviously is not very awful.

DMoney

Ok, so just for the record oldhomey, your stance on this topic is that it's ok for a woman to abort a viable fetus if she claims ANY risk to ANY form of her health, without the concert or participation from a doctor? I just want to make sure we're crystal clear on this. If you say yes, have the guts to stand behind it without qualifications or out clauses.

DMoney

*consent

oldhomey

What I believe, D, is that you are interpreting the language of a law in a way that you think supports your anti-abortion stance. What I believe is that women who carry a fetus in their womb for nine months is not going to make a cold-hearted decision to execute a viable, healthy baby like she is returning a pair of slacks she bought the day before and decided she didn't like it, after all. You are being a faithful to a dogmatic belief, not to reason.

oldhomey

Allow me to clean up my language in my response to you, D, as the subject and verb in the first half of it did not agree with the second half, not noticing that I went from plurals to singular when I stopped to think for a moment. So let me restate this:

"What I believe is that a woman who carries a fetus in her womb for nine months is not going to make a cold-hearted decision to execute a viable, healthy baby when she gives birth, like she is returning a pair of slacks she bought the day before and suddenly had second thoughts about it. You are being a faithful to a dogmatic belief, not to reason.

DMoney

But alas, she now CAN! She CAN do that. It's L.E.G.A.L. She shouldn't, she couldn't possibly--but she CAN and she WILL. The number of occurrences isn't important. If it happens once--it's one murder. Is that ok?

DMoney

Are you saying that if one woman simply changes her mind, gets abortion at 8 or 9 months, claims risk to her mental health--that it's ok? As long as it's not hundreds or thousands..

DMoney

Lastly, tell me an instance in human history where terrible things were allowed or acceptable--and people didn't take advantage? You are being incredibly naive, which combined with your age and wisdom--reeks of hypocrisy.

oldhomey

Mr. Lowry waxes poetic when he wants:

"The pro-abortion forces blinker themselves against how the vast majority of people consider an unborn child.

"Even before her child is born, a mother — and her family — sacrifices for her child, protects her child, prays for her child and dreams for her child. She talks to her child, and often names her child. She takes her child to the doctor. She, later in her pregnancy, knows when her child is active and when her child is resting.

"Her unborn child, in short, is already what it will be after he or she is born — a cause of worry and joy, and ceaseless wonder at the miracle of life."

Most of us who have gone through life with our eyes wide open know that pregnancy is not usually the overly idealized picture that Lowry paints. Even in the best most stable marriages an unexpected pregnancy be an unwanted surprise. Most, however, bear with the pregnancy and the birth. But Lowry's idealized pregnancy presupposes that it occurs in these idealized circumstances, ignoring the 14-year-old school girl suffering the consequences of a seduction or, worse, rape by a neighborhood boy, or the 22-year-old working girl who succumbed to a weekend fling, or a woman on welfare already struggling with more children than she can reasonably provide for becoming pregnant once again because her birth control device failed her. We are all err-prone human beings, and there are probably more reasons for a pregnancy to be an unwanted outcome than a desired one.

I would submit that in those cases the pregnancy is a part of the body of the woman carrying it, and if the ramifications of the pregnancy are life-shattering for her, it is her business to end the pregnancy, not the state's business, not Mr. Lowry's business, not the Pope's business, not crank's business, not D's business. If they find abortion to be morally reprehensible, they should not allow it in the conduct of their own affairs, but it is not there right to impose their views on others

I would find Mr. Lowry's much more convincing if he was regularly writing columns with similar Hallmark card sentiments about the value of society making sure that every man, woman and child had access healthcare, no questions asked, and that every child, no matter the circumstances of his parent or parents, should live in secure, safe housing, and should be educated in good schools, with teachers trained to teach them properly, even if they come into the school system with terrible learning or behavior disabilities.

Work on those heart strings, too, Mr. Lowry, and perhaps you will be a little more believable. It would also be nice to see people like crank and D writing effusive comments of support to such views.

DMoney

This doesn't explain the need for a third trimester abortion though. I agree there are many unwanted pregnancies, possibility the slim majority. But there's no excuse to wait until third trimester when the baby is viable.

Regarding abortion prior to this time, as I've stated, I can tolerate it. I won't march and advocate.

oldhomey

Very few abortions are third trimester abortions, D. There are medical protocols in which doctors cannot abort a severely deformed child that will have a brief and very painful life once born until they are absolutely sure that the fetus is one of those doomed babies. Often they cannot make that determination until well into the third trimester. Those are the babies aborted in the third trimester. You make it sound like they are murdering bouncing little babies that are perfect in every way. They are not. These are fetuses with missing or severely compromised organs who, if born alive, will have no chance of developing, doomed to a very early and quite probably painful life, miserable for the uncomprehending infant and tragically comprehending parents. You are SO generous with your compassion for them.

crank

Prove it! Cite the source you have used to make statements regarding the number and circumstances of third-trimester abortions.

Regarding the “bouncing little babies that are perfect in every way” comment... under the NY law, it is perfectly to to kill a ‘perfect’, full-term baby. THIS should never be allowed to happen.

oldhomey

Could you provide us with the exact wording of the law that stipulates it will be okay to kill a "perfect" full-term baby on the basis of nothing more than a casual whim as you infer, crank?

This is the most recent statistic I could come up with, but it is from the Centers for Disease Control for 2015:

"The majority of abortions in 2015 took place early in gestation: 91.1% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (7.6%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (1.3%) were performed at ≥21 weeks’ gestation."

DMoney

Not only was it allowed, it was wildly celebrated. Raucous applause in the NY House. Skyscrapers lit up pink. If you are a decent person, this should shock you to the foundation. But for some, it's cause to celebrate.

crank

You first, oldhomey. You wrote, "Those are the babies aborted in the third trimester. You make it sound like they are murdering bouncing little babies that are perfect in every way. They are not. These are fetuses with missing or severely compromised organs who, if born alive, will have no chance of developing..."

Prove it... cite the source that states these things specifically; not simply percentages for a given gestational age.

The newly enacted Reproductive Health Act expands on what’s legal after 24 weeks, allowing a woman to get an abortion after 24 weeks if her health is threatened, not just her life. It doesn't matter if the baby is perfect or viable. The new law also moves abortion regulations from the New York’s criminal code to the health code, thereby removing the threat of criminal prosecution.

Further supporting the slippery slope created by this legislation is a news story about a murder in New York earlier this month. Per snopes.com:

"Anthony Hobson stabbed his girlfriend in the stomach, killing both her and her unborn child. Prosecutors originally intended to charge him with both second degree murder of the mother as well as “unlawful abortion,” but due to the passage of New York’s Reproductive Health Act the latter charge was dropped."

You made your statements first, oldhuckster. Now back them up with facts. You show me in the text of the law where it says it is illegal to abort a perfect baby in the 3rd trimester.

DMoney

Section 2 of the bill creates a new Article 25-A of the Public Health
Law (PHL), which states that an abortion May be performed by a
licensed, certified, or authorized practitioner within 24 weeks from
the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal
viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient's life
or health.

This means that abortion after 24 weeks is allowed if: absence of viability, or any time to protect patients life or health.

Notice how wording is included specifically in cases of fetus viability and patients life. This, if left alone, might be reasonable and understandable. Not many people would fight that. But then, it's added "...or health". It doesn't define what type of health. This was left vague. Therefore, any woman who seeks abortion after 24 weeks can claim any type of health issue--literally any type--and receive an abortion up to birth. There's no wording in there saying "except for healthy, viable fetuses". It's now purely the woman's call, for any reason, at any time. Will the usage of this new access be rare? Of course. Probably extremely rare. But it WILL be taken advantage of, and will result in the death of many viable and healthy babies. If you believe it won't, you are being facetious (which is disgusting, considering the nature of this debate).

crank

oldhomey, let me help you out.

You won't find the information to backup your statements at the CDC though you did scramble to throw some numbers at me out of context. The CDC reporting doesn’t include a reason for the termination and therefore cannot possibly be used to back up the statements you've made. Are you just making this stuff up or do you have another source?

DMoney

The bill doesn't specify that healthy babies cannot be killed. It doesn't even hold to the previous Roe vs Wade stance where a woman's life must be in jeopardy. If the allowance of late terms abortion was designed to be so limited in it's scope--why the overhaul to the woman's state of health? Why the removal of a physician? You haven't and can't answer that without completely waffling.

Cassandra2

This is a stretch, even for Lowry.

johnnybragatti

Just returned from the Apple, no doubt the coolest city on Earth.!!!

DMoney

Not if you're a developing fetus...

PhysicsIsFun

This is the point of view of a mother who had to have a late term abortion. It is not an easy decision. "I Had a Late-Term Abortion. President Trump and Pro-Lifers Have No Right to Call Me a Murderer. What it’s like to have the most devastating event of your life become a misrepresented political talking point." By Margot Finn (https://slate.com/technology/2019/02/late-term-abortion-support-group-lessons-trust-myself-women.html)

DMoney

I believe the outrage isn't generated by situations like this. I believe it's for situations opposite of this. A woman literally having a change of heart after 2nd term.

crank

Yes, interesting... There are many horrible things happening in New York.

oldhomey

Yes, crank, that is certainly true. And isn't it true that there are many stunningly wonderful and beautiful things that are happening in New York, too? But a crank might notice those things. Perhaps we should make lists of bad/good things that happen in the many, many locales around the country. I wonder if we could even muster up such a list for La Crosse? If you saw some of the good that happens and has happened, perhaps that would cheer you up a bit, or at least make you less grumpy.

crank

If what I said is true, why bother replying, oldhomey?

You seem obsessed with me or you're just do what you usually do and #trolling people on your enemies list. FYI: I am super happy!

capedcrusader

"Super happy" and yet you chose a name like crank.

crank

Again... capedcrusader demonstrates how the trolling tribe of trib-libs choose to bicker with anyone on their ‘enemies list’ about literally anything.

oldhomey

Well, doggoneit, you're right, crank. I seem to have singled you out from all other right-wing and loony tune posters on these boards, obsessively challenging you and you alone for the opinions and statements you express that I find mindless or untrue. I do it to nobody else. You must feel stalked. Sorry. I will try to spread my criticism around to others.

By the way, why is it that people who hold liberal opinions who call out the b.s. expressed by conservatives are "trolls" in your opinion, while conservatives who do the same thing to liberals on here are apparently are just folks speaking common sense?

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