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S01383 Summary:

BILL NOS01383
 
SAME ASSAME AS A03130
 
SPONSORRITCHIE
 
COSPNSRBOYLE, LANZA, MARTINEZ, O'MARA, ORTT, YOUNG
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 120.75 & 120.80, amd 125.00 & 125.05, Pen L
 
Provides that either a person or an unborn child in any stage of gestation may be the victim of an assault or homicide; also states situations when it does not constitute an assault on an unborn child such as during the course of an otherwise lawful abortion, during normal medical treatment or by the pregnant woman; defines "person" to include any human being who is born and is alive or an unborn child at any stage of gestation.
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S01383 Memo:

Memo not available
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S01383 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          1383
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                    January 14, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sens. RITCHIE, BOYLE, LANZA, O'MARA, ORTT, YOUNG -- read
          twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
          Committee on Codes
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  penal law, in relation to the unborn victims of
          violence act
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.    Legislative  intent.   The legislature hereby finds and
     2  declares that a  significant  loophole  exists  in  state  law,  denying
     3  protection to pregnant women and certain children.  Currently, an offen-
     4  der  may  not  be  held  criminally responsible for the harm caused to a
     5  child unless that child has first been born alive.  Therefore, an assai-
     6  lant who shoots a woman who is seven months pregnant, and kills both the
     7  woman and her child, may only be charged with the homicide of the mother
     8  since the infant is not considered a legal victim of the crime.
     9    New York state policy lags behind most states in this  area  of  crime
    10  victims'  protection.    Thirty-one  states  now  provide protection and
    11  justice for pregnant women and their unborn children who are victims  of
    12  violence.
    13    The  legislature  further  finds  and declares that current statistics
    14  demonstrate that domestic abuse and  violence  against  women  increases
    15  during pregnancy.  It is estimated that one in five women will be abused
    16  during  pregnancy.  A study in the Journal of the American Medical Asso-
    17  ciation found that in the state of Maryland, a pregnant  woman  is  more
    18  likely  to  be  a  victim  of a homicide than to die of any other cause.
    19  Thus, rather than pregnancy being a peaceful time of preparation and the
    20  growth of a healthy child, for many women it can be a time of  violence,
    21  grief and loss.
    22    Compounding  this tragedy is the loophole in current law, which denies
    23  effective protection and remedy to women and their  children.    When  a
    24  woman makes a conscious choice to keep her baby and has the choice viol-

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00203-01-9

        S. 1383                             2
 
     1  ently taken away from her by a violent perpetrator, justice demands that
     2  someone  be  punished  for that crime.   Indeed, mothers will bury their
     3  baby's body and mark the grave for their child for  the  rest  of  their
     4  lives, but New York law tells them their loved one never existed.
     5    The  legislature  does not intend this act to apply to any abortion to
     6  which a woman has consented, to any act of the mother herself or to  any
     7  form of medical treatment.  The legislature finds that the current legal
     8  right  to abortion does not protect and does not confer on an assailant,
     9  a third-party unilateral right to destroy an unborn child.
    10    The legislature recognizes that a federal "unborn victims of violence"
    11  law was enacted in 2004, yet believes the law to be limited in  applying
    12  only to unborn children injured or killed during the course of specified
    13  federal crimes of violence.
    14    It  is  the  intent of the legislature that the affirmative right of a
    15  pregnant woman to carry her child to term be protected, and that  perpe-
    16  trators  of  crimes  against pregnant women and their unborn children be
    17  held accountable for their crimes.
    18    § 2. Short title.  This act shall be known as and may be cited as  the
    19  "unborn victims of violence act".
    20    §  3.  The  penal law is amended by adding two new sections 120.75 and
    21  120.80 to read as follows:
    22  § 120.75 Assault and related offenses; definition.
    23    The following definition is applicable  to  sections  120.00,  120.03,
    24  120.04, 120.05, 120.06, 120.07, 120.10 and 120.12 of this article:
    25    "Person,"  when  referring  to  the  victim of any assault, aggravated
    26  assault or vehicular assault, means a human being who has been born  and
    27  is alive, or an unborn child at any stage of gestation.
    28  § 120.80 Assault and related offenses; defined.
    29    Nothing in this article shall be construed to permit the prosecution:
    30    1.  of any person for conduct relating to a justifiable abortional act
    31  for which the consent of the pregnant woman has been obtained;
    32    2. of any person for any medical treatment of the  pregnant  woman  or
    33  her unborn child; or
    34    3.  of any woman with respect to her unborn child except a prosecution
    35  for violating section 125.50 or 125.55 of this title.
    36    § 4. Section 125.00 of the penal law is amended to read as follows:
    37  § 125.00  Homicide defined.
    38    1. Homicide means conduct which causes the death of  a  person  or  an
    39  unborn  child [with which a female has been pregnant for more than twen-
    40  ty-four weeks] at any stage of gestation under circumstances  constitut-
    41  ing murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, manslaught-
    42  er  in  the  first  degree, manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular
    43  manslaughter in the first degree, vehicular manslaughter in  the  second
    44  degree or criminally negligent homicide, abortion in the first degree or
    45  self-abortion in the first degree.
    46    2.  Nothing  in  this  article shall be construed to permit the prose-
    47  cution:
    48    (a) of any person for conduct relating to a justifiable abortional act
    49  for which the consent of the pregnant woman or a  person  authorized  by
    50  law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is
    51  implied by law;
    52    (b) of any person for any medical treatment of a pregnant woman or her
    53  unborn child; or
    54    (c) of any woman with respect to her unborn child except a prosecution
    55  for violating section 125.50 or 125.55 of this article.

        S. 1383                             3
 
     1    §  5.  Subdivision  1 of section 125.05 of the penal law is amended to
     2  read as follows:
     3    1.    "Person,"  when  referring  to the victim of a homicide, means a
     4  human being who has been born and is alive or an  unborn  child  at  any
     5  stage of gestation.
     6    § 6. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
     7  ing the date on which it shall have become a law.
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