senate Bill S4347

2011-2012 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 -

  • 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 04, 2012 referred to codes
Mar 30, 2011 referred to codes


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S4347 - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Add §§120.75 & 120.80, amd §§125.00 & 125.05, Pen L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S4897, A2034

S4347 - 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.

S4347 - Sponsor Memo

S4347 - Bill Text download pdf

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


                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 30, 2011

  LARKIN,  LIBOUS,  LITTLE,  MAZIARZ,  YOUNG,  ZELDIN  -- read twice and
  ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on

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 mother
since 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

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


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