New York’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA), signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on January 22, allows abortions after the 24-week mark of pregnancy. If this wasn’t bad enough, the new law also repeals the state’s fetal homicide law. Now in New York, second-degree abortion (committing an abortion that is not justifiable) is removed from the state’s criminal code and has been inserted into public health law. In New York, an abortion is justifiable if committed by a licensed physician with consent of the pregnant woman if necessary to save her life, or performed on a woman who is no more than 24 weeks pregnant.
The new law raises concern and heartbreak as New York woman Jennifer Irigoyen, who was five months pregnant, was fatally stabbed by her boyfriend. He would have been charged with second-degree abortion and Jennifer’s murder, but because Cuomo signed RHA into law, the abortion charge has been dropped.