A Wrinkle in Crime


A Wrinkle in Crime

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 Days after prosecutors included a charge of second-degree abortion against Hobson, it was rescinded.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.


Religious Freedom Is No Trade-off

February 11, 2019

By FRC Vice President for Policy Travis Weber

The "de-linking" of trade and human rights in China that took place in the 1990s was supposed to advance both. While it helped the former (at least for China), it did nothing for the latter. Over the past few years, China has actually gotten worse on religious freedom, harassing and detaining pastors and Christian leaders, forcing Muslim citizens into "re-education" camps, and tightening its grip on the practice of religion across the board. At the same time that this assault on religious freedom continues, the U.S. and China have entered into a 90-day period of wide-ranging trade discussions, due to expire on March 1, 2019. We must seize the opportunity presented by these trade talks to ensure that religious freedom is addressed in any trade agreement going forward.

That was the focus of discussion at FRC last week in a special panel featuring Bob Fu of China Aid, along with guests Kuzzat Altay (Founder of the Uyghur Entrepreneurs Network), Mrs. Li Ching-Yu (Wife of Li Ming-Che, a human rights activist currently imprisoned in China), Dr. Yang Sen-Hong (Founder and President of the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights), Rev. Hong-Tiong Lyim (General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan), and Doug Robison (President of EXL Petroleum and Board Chairman of China Aid). In that order, they laid out a compelling case for why we must address the human rights abuses currently occurring in China, and why economic issues are an appropriate vehicle to do so.

We heard stories on imprisoned family members, suppression of human rights advocacy, and the church's defense of religious liberty. It was both encouraging and alarming, but these are the testimonies that need to be told. This is what is at stake when we engage with China, such as we are doing now with these trade talks. We must ensure that religious freedom and human rights are addressed as part of these talks over the next few weeks.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Saying Goodbye to a North Carolina Friend

February 11, 2019

He started out as a Democrat, but Congressman Walter Jones will be remembered as a committed conservative. Twenty-four years into his career, the longtime representative passed away this past weekend on his 76th birthday after a long battle with illness. For the Joneses, serving in the House was a family business. His father held the same seat for almost as many years. Today, people in his North Carolina district are grateful for the gentle and committed legacy both men left behind.

To those of us at FRC, who worked with Jones on issues like life, marriage, prayer, and religious freedom, he will be missed. One of the things we appreciated about Rep. Jones, apart from his 92 percent voting record on our scorecard, was his kind spirit -- and his determination to end the Johnson amendment. It's only fitting that he lived long enough to see a president fight to do the same.

House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows, a good friend and fellow North Carolinian, said that Jones was "a beloved colleague and friend who had a profound impact on all through his graciousness, character, and committed Christian faith." We join all of Congress in celebrating the life and leadership of Congressman Jones and extend our deepest condolences to his family and staff, who knew him as we did -- as a man of principle.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.



Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Previous Washington Update Articles »