New York City Catholics and abortion opponents voiced outrage Saturday over the lack of justice for an unborn child who was killed in Queens.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown recently charged Anthony Hobson with murder for allegedly killing Jennifer Irigoyen on Feb. 3 — but said he couldn’t bring charges over her unborn child’s death due to a recent change in abortion law.
“It’s evil,” said a nurse attending Mass at the Church of St. Agnes in Midtown. “It’s a progressive slippery slope.”
“I’m enraged,” said Rose deMarco, 78, of Greenwich Village. “That was murder. [Hobson] murdered two people and he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Irigoyen, 35, was five months pregnant when Hobson, 48, allegedly stabbed her multiple times in the abdomen.
He was initially charged with abortion in the second degree, a felony under the state’s previous statutes, as well as second-degree murder for Irigoyen’s death.
But the Queens DA’s office withdrew the abortion count when it learned the Reproductive Health Act, signed into law last month, moves abortion from the state’s criminal to public health codes.
That “means it’s open season on pregnant women in New York,” said Dennis Poust of the New York State Catholic Conference.
Lawmakers who argued against the bill in Albany said the Queens tragedy exposed the bill’s flaws.
At least 38 states and the federal government have made it a crime to kill a fetus against the mother’s wishes.
“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.
“With New York’s law, we’re saying you can take a life and escape any punishment,” said Assemblyman Brian Manktelow (R-Wayne County). “How as a society can you allow that to happen?”
Cuomo’s office did not respond to requests for comment.