This sad case of “self-abortion” from New York, where two out of every five pregnancies end in abortion, seems to illustrate the effect of legislation when what is legal and common in clinics is done at home. Charges are usually dismissed, but unfortunately these women don’t end up getting any kind of help, psychiatric or otherwise. It’s okay if the term “self-abortion” upsets you, because of course the woman isn’t aborting herself. However, I do appreciate the tone of this article from the NY Times.
A superintendent in Washington Heights was tying up a garbage bag on Tuesday evening when he felt an errant piece of plastic. He reached into the bag to put it in the recycling bin, and to his horror, he said, “that’s when I saw the baby.” […]
The police said Thursday that they had charged Yaribely Almonte, 20, who had lived in the building, with self-abortion in the first degree, a misdemeanor charge that has been used only a few times in New York State. Although it was unclear how old the fetus was, the charge applies when the abortion occurs after 24 weeks of pregnancy, when it is legal only if a woman’s doctor says her life is in danger.
“When I found the baby, I didn’t know if it was real at first,” said the superintendent, who declined to give his name. “It was so bad.
“After that happened, I just stayed in my apartment for a while because I didn’t feel well.” […]
“This woman has my sympathy,” Greg Pfundstein, executive director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, an anti-abortion group, said Thursday. “This appears to be a clear case of desperation.
“I wish she had known there are people who would have helped her through this, including the New York Catholic Archdiocese.”
He added that the archdiocese, through Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, “recently renewed its pledge to help any woman who finds herself pregnant and in need.”