senate Bill S4897

2009-2010 Legislative Session

Provides that either a person or an unborn child in any stage of gestation may be the victim of an assault

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Senate Committee Codes Committee

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 06, 2010 referred to codes
Apr 27, 2009 referred to codes


S4897 (ACTIVE) - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Add §§120.75 & 120.80, amd §§125.00 & 125.05, Pen L
Versions Introduced in Other Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S4347, A1673
2013-2014: S1950, A3128
2015-2016: S2532, A6502
2017-2018: S3830, A3579
2019-2020: S1383, A3130

S4897 (ACTIVE) - Summary

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.

S4897 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

S4897 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K


                       2009-2010 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 27, 2009

Introduced by Sen. AUBERTINE -- 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


  Section  1.    Legislative  intent.   The legislature hereby finds and
declares that a  significant  loophole  exists  in  state  law,  denying
protection to pregnant women and certain children.  Currently, an offen-
der  may  not  be  held  criminally responsible for the harm caused to a
child unless that child has first been born alive.  Therefore, an assai-
lant who shoots a woman who is seven months pregnant, and kills both the
woman and her child, may only be charged with the homicide of the  moth-
er; the infant is not considered a legal victim of the crime.
  New  York  state  policy lags behind most states in this area of crime
victims' protection.   Thirty-one  states  now  provide  protection  and
justice  for pregnant women and their unborn children who are victims of
  The legislature further finds and  declares  that  current  statistics
demonstrate  that  domestic  abuse  and violence against women increases
during pregnancy.  It is estimated that one in five women will be abused
during pregnancy.  A study in the Journal of the American Medical  Asso-
ciation  found  that  in the state of Maryland, a pregnant woman is more
likely to be a victim of a homicide than to  die  of  any  other  cause.
Thus, rather than pregnancy being a peaceful time of preparation and the
growth  of a healthy child, for many women it can be a time of violence,
grief and loss.
  Compounding this tragedy is the loophole in current law, which  denies
effective  protection  and  remedy  to women and their children.  When a
woman makes a conscious choice to keep her baby and has the choice viol-
ently taken away from her by a violent perpetrator, justice demands that

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


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