Abortion Dominates Headlines: No Justice for Jennifer, NIFLA Center Vandalized

Light Up the Night: How Pro-Lifers Can Make a Difference in the Face of Extreme Late-Term Abortion Legislation
January 31, 2019
Democrats Block Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
February 26, 2019

Abortion-related news dominated headlines over the past few weeks. From legislative developments in numerous states to a historic presidential State of the Union address, the national debate over the sanctity of life continues.

  • On January 22, 2019, New York passed its “Reproductive Health Act” – or RHA. The legislation is extreme because it removes all restrictions on abortions and allows babies to be killed up until the moment of birth. In addition, it decriminalizes abortion as a result of assault against a pregnant woman.
  • The state of Virginia recently considered legislation that, according to its sponsor Del. Kathy Tran, D-Va., clearly allows for abortion up to the time of birth.    
    • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam took the issue even further when he stated in a radio interview that late-term abortion would allow for killing the child after birth. 
  • Massachusetts Democrats are pushing similar legislation: The Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access Act, or “ROE Act,” would give doctors much more latitude in abortions and would delete the section in current Massachusetts law that requires doctors to “take reasonable steps … to preserve the life and health of the aborted child.”
  • Concerns have been raised about a new Vermont bill known as H.57 that would strip even more protections from children in the womb than New York’s RHA. Crafted in part by Planned Parenthood, the legislation strips “all independent rights” from the child in the womb as reported by Fox News in early February.
    • According to the Fox article, opponents of this bill argue it “makes the preborn child constitutional property with fewer rights than an animal …”
  • Radical abortion legislation known as HB 51 was recently passed by the New Mexico state House of Representatives. The law would “force doctors to perform abortions against their will” according to a recent CBN News article, which also notes New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s vow “to sign the bill” when it reaches her desk.

RHA Strips Protections from Victims of Assault and Domestic Violence  

Sadly, New York’s RHA and similar legislation affects families in a way that doesn’t get quite as much attention in mainstream media.

RHA reduced murder charges against Jennifer Irigoyen’s killer. Photo credit: Facebook.

The New York Post reported that neighbors heard New York resident Jennifer Irigoyen scream, “He’s going to kill the baby,” moments before she and her unborn child were involved in a grisly murder.

“The expectant mother was then knifed multiple times in the torso, neck and abdomen,” The Post went on, detailing her horrific death and the murderer’s subsequent surrender to police.

Many pro-life supporters were appalled by New York’s legislation allowing unlimited late-term abortions but overlooked the fact that RHA also completely removed killing children in the womb from New York’s criminal code — regardless of whether they are “wanted” or not.

Thanks to RHA, charges against a man who violently took the lives of Jennifer Irigoyen and her baby were reduced and he may now receive a shorter sentence. While Jennifer Irigoyen’s surviving child and family are among the first to suffer from RHA’s obstruction of justice, critics of the bill say they will not be the last.

State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, released the following statement about the protections RHA strips from women:


“It is unconscionable to think that anyone would deprive a pregnant domestic violence victim the justice she deserves.  . . . The Reproductive Health Act is, in my opinion, extreme and filled with gaps. In fact what it does is decriminalize abortion in all aspects, including abortion as a product of an assault on a pregnant female.”

Given CDC findings that murder is the second most common cause of death in pregnant women, all citizens should be concerned about the fact that abortion legislation like RHA removes vital protections for victims of assault.


NIFLA Member Pregnancy Center Vandalized

Rising tensions among abortion advocates have also directly impacted the work of NIFLA’s nationwide network of nearly 1,500 pro-life pregnancy centers.

Just days after the Virginia House of Delegates defeated proposed legislation allowing abortion up until birth, a NIFLA member pregnancy center in Culpeper, Virginia was vandalized.

PJ Media interviewed town councilman Jon Russell, who found the damage and posted video and pictures of the incident on Facebook that morning. Russell told PJ Media this attack — which police are investigating as a potential hate crime — has all the hallmarks of the national abortion movement, and especially Planned Parenthood.

Long-time center director Lindy Dimeo said in a recent statement to Fredericksburg.com:

“It makes me sad. I’m not angry; it’s just sad because none of it is true. We’re not a fake clinic, we have a doctor on staff; we have [a] sonographer on staff.

The graffiti defacing this pregnancy center has its roots in the “Fake Clinic Myth” started by Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates more than 30 years ago. NIFLA President Thomas Glessner’s February op-ed in the Washington Examiner touches on this and other developments:

“This myth provides abortion advocates with a rhetorical excuse to speak from both sides of their mouths: from one side about how pro-lifers cease to care about babies the moment they are born; from the other side about how government should shut down the very aid organizations that pro-lifers established to help mothers and babies before and after birth.”

Of course, there’s nothing “fake” about providing free medical services, support, and other material resources to mothers contemplating abortion. Pregnancy centers exist to provide life-affirming alternatives that empower, strengthen and serve women in their communities.

“It is clear we have arrived at a pivotal moment in the culture war for the very soul of our nation,” NIFLA President Thomas Glessner said regarding recent events.


A Powerful Pro-Life State of The Union Address

In a historic State of the Union address President Donald Trump referenced extreme abortion legislation in both New York and Virginia and took an unapologetic stand for life:

“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.

These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth.

To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”

We do not know for certain what the future holds but we do know who holds the future in his hands. That is why we can say with confidence that we are on the winning side in the battle for the sanctity of life.