New York Lags Behind in Protecting Victims

Published on December 16th, 2011

By Kathleen M. Gallagher

New York State still lags behind in protecting women and unborn children from acts of violence by third-party perpetrators.  Add North Carolina to the list of 36 states – yes, 36! – which have amended their laws to hold assailants accountable for crimes committed against pregnant women and unborn children.

North Carolina’s “Ethan’s Law” came about after 22-year-old Jennifer Nielsen and her unborn son, Ethan, were violently stabbed to death while Jennifer was innocently delivering newspapers in 2007. Her family petitioned against the lack of a fetal homicide law, and won their case, with the law taking effect in December 2011.

Tennessee also took action in 2011 to expand their “Unborn Victims of Violence Act” to protect pre-born children at any time during the gestation period.  Their previous law recognized the unborn child as a crime victim only after viability.

No state’s fetal homicide law has ever been ruled unconstitutional.

C’mon, New York! Get with the program.

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