February 11, 2019
She was a classically-trained pianist, an up-and-coming real estate agent, but above all, a "sweetheart," her neighbors said. The news that she'd been dragged from her apartment February 3rd and brutally stabbed was devastating to everyone who knew her. At just 35, Jennifer Irigoyen was gone -- a victim, not just of a grisly and horrifying murder, but of New York's expansive late-term abortion law too.
The images of the crime were stomach-turning. Pools of blood, spilling down the stairs like paint streaks. Red-spattered walls and footprints. A single discarded shoe. People nearby told police they could hear Jennifer screaming, "He's going to kill the baby!" Already a mom, she was five months pregnant with a second child when her boyfriend viciously knifed her in the stomach. "I [saw] him dragging her down the stairs," said Maurice Zereoue. "I [saw] her hands hanging on to the hallway wall for dear life." Maurice and his girlfriend called 911, but it was too late. When the couple finally got to her, she was struggling to breathe. The sound of her "yelling... about wanting to protect her baby" haunted him. Later, the gory surveillance footage confirmed what authorities already suspected: he was targeting the child.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called it a "heinous crime." But it's one that Anthony Hobson will never fully pay for under the state's radical new abortion law. As critics warned, it's not just "unwanted" babies in the crosshairs, but eagerly anticipated ones like Jennifer's too. While Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) celebrated his law like a Super Bowl championship, other people worried about the devastating effects on New York's criminal code. "'Person,' when referring to the victim of a homicide, [now] means a human being who has been born and is alive." The impact of this, the Resurgent's Stacey Lennox pointed out back in January, is colossal. "Nearly all criminal penalties are removed for killing a baby inside the womb. A mother who is 30 weeks pregnant and stabbed in the abdomen, killing her unborn child, will see no prosecution for the death of her baby."
Now, three weeks later, one family is mourning just how prophetic that warning turned out to be. Days after prosecutors included a charge of second-degree abortion against Hobson, it was rescinded. When reporters asked why, the district attorney's office explained that the charge was no longer allowed under the new and extreme Reproductive Health law. To Brown and others, the result is astonishing. "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."
Her family, still in shock at the torture and fear she felt in those final moments, released a statement saying that Jennifer didn't deserve this. "She deserved to be happy. She deserved to be loved. She deserved to raise her son." Then, "We want to see justice [served]." Unfortunately for them, justice will never be served for Jennifer's unborn child. Because one of the things Democrats were cheering on January 22 was the ability of men like Hobson to massacre a woman and child -- and never fully pay for it.
In a country where just 21 percent agree with Democrats on the third-trimester part of the law, try finding a single digit who think murderers like this one should get more lenience. Add this to the Left's call for legal infanticide, and pretty soon, the debate will no longer be about the viability of the child -- but the viability of the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, another state that seems undeterred by the nationwide uproar is Maryland, where liberals aren't content passing a piece of legislation like New York's. They want to enshrine that extremism in the state's constitution. Turns out, there is no line in the Old Line State. Despite the backlash in New York, House Speaker Michael Busch (D) has already introduced an amendment that would create a "constitutional right" to kill a baby right up to the moment of birth. (Marylanders can contact their leaders here.) If there is a saving grace to the new push, it's that even if the legislature is foolish enough to pass it, the language would still have to go before voters in 2020. And judging by the backlash we've seen all around the country, it probably has less chance of survival than the babies it targets.
For now, conservatives will keep fighting to save every life -- from children like Jennifer's to the survivors of abortion that Democrats think doctors should be empowered to destroy. To hear the amazing stories of men and women who wouldn't be here if Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gets her way, click on the video to see the faces behind the "fake issue" of infanticide. I challenge anyone to walk away from these testimonies unmoved that these are anything but valuable human beings, worthy of our care and protection.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.