New York woman charged with self abortion

Dec 10, 2011 Full story: BellaOnline 582

Yaribely Almonte, 20 was charged last week with self abortion in the first degree, a misdemeanor charge that has been used only four times in New York State in the last thirty years.

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Bright Sun

Newark, OH

#1 Dec 10, 2011
g Pro-Choice Site
Suzanne Gregory
BellaOnline's Pro-Choice Editor

g

New York woman charged with self abortion

Yaribely Almonte, 20 was charged last week with self abortion in the first degree, a misdemeanor charge that has been used only four times in New York State in the last thirty years.

The first degree charge applies to cases in which the fetus was at a gestation of 24 weeks or more, requiring a doctor to perform the abortion. Abortions in New York are only legal at this stage when the pregnancy poses a life risk to the mother.

The superintendent of the Washington Heights building Almonte lived in, found the seven inch long dead fetus, wrapped in plastic and disposed of in a bucket in a trash bin. The fetus, a boy, still had the umbilical cord attached.

Almonte drank an herbal concoction to induce the abortion, though it is not yet known what the drink had in it. Herbal teas to induce abortion have long been known and tried by women seeking to end their pregnancies. Such remedies have been somewhat common in Mexico and other parts of Latin America in recent years.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that each year nearly 42 million women faced with unintended pregnancies have abortions, of which 20 million are unsafe. Most of them take place in countries where abortion is illegal. An estimated 21.6 million unsafe abortions took place worldwide in 2008, almost all in developing countries. The unsafe abortion rate remains unchanged at about 14 unsafe abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44 years.

Thirty-nine states make it illegal for anyone other than a medical provider to perform an abortion.

Andrea Miller, president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, called the criminal case "deeply troubling."

"They have taken what should be a medical and public health matter and turned it into a criminal case," Ms. Miller said.

Almonte was released from jail and is scheduled to return to court on January 3. If convicted, she could be sentenced to a year in jail.

Let's hope the charges are dropped and this woman is allowed to go back home to the one child she already has.

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#2 Dec 10, 2011
Bright Sun wrote:
g Pro-Choice Site
Suzanne Gregory
BellaOnline's Pro-Choice Editor
g
New York woman charged with self abortion
Yaribely Almonte, 20 was charged last week with self abortion in the first degree, a misdemeanor charge that has been used only four times in New York State in the last thirty years.
The first degree charge applies to cases in which the fetus was at a gestation of 24 weeks or more, requiring a doctor to perform the abortion. Abortions in New York are only legal at this stage when the pregnancy poses a life risk to the mother.
The superintendent of the Washington Heights building Almonte lived in, found the seven inch long dead fetus, wrapped in plastic and disposed of in a bucket in a trash bin. The fetus, a boy, still had the umbilical cord attached.
Almonte drank an herbal concoction to induce the abortion, though it is not yet known what the drink had in it. Herbal teas to induce abortion have long been known and tried by women seeking to end their pregnancies. Such remedies have been somewhat common in Mexico and other parts of Latin America in recent years.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that each year nearly 42 million women faced with unintended pregnancies have abortions, of which 20 million are unsafe. Most of them take place in countries where abortion is illegal. An estimated 21.6 million unsafe abortions took place worldwide in 2008, almost all in developing countries. The unsafe abortion rate remains unchanged at about 14 unsafe abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44 years.
Thirty-nine states make it illegal for anyone other than a medical provider to perform an abortion.
Andrea Miller, president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, called the criminal case "deeply troubling."
"They have taken what should be a medical and public health matter and turned it into a criminal case," Ms. Miller said.
Almonte was released from jail and is scheduled to return to court on January 3. If convicted, she could be sentenced to a year in jail.
Let's hope the charges are dropped and this woman is allowed to go back home to the one child she already has.
"They have taken what should be a medical and public health matter and turned it into a criminal case," Ms. Miller said.

I'm shocked that it's only a misdemeanor. I often argue that sometimes those on the pro-life side have no regard for the woman, here is an example of a spokes person for the PC side showing no regard for a fetus which may have reached viability. Of course, I don't know all the circumstances, is there a link to an article with more detail?
If it was simply because she no longer wanted to continue the pregnancy then I hope she gets the year in jail and it sends a message. People like Ms Miller love to stand behind Roe v Wade when it favors them, but when R v W finds the State's interest in protecting the fetus a more compelling argument, at viability, than the woman's non-absolute right to privacy, she has no use for it.

“Beauty on four legs”

Since: Sep 06

Location hidden

#3 Dec 10, 2011
I saw your name, BA, so came to read the article & see what you had to say. I hear ya about Miller's response being odd. AFAIK, at 24 weeks, legal abortion would mean a late term procedure, and is strictly regulated. If the fetus was viable, then this case is deeply troubling indeed. In any event, it's sad.

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#4 Dec 10, 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/nyregion/se...
Forget it BS, I found the story, the charges were based on her own words. It doesn't sound like NY takes this too seriously, or else, it's probably hard to prove in most cases, 3 of 4 ended in dismissal and the fourth, in conditional discharge.

The problem is that the law does not recognize the fetus until it's born, the only protection lies with the State's interest and the woman's rights. From the legal aspect I agree with that, but I do believe that the State's reasonable and compelling interest to protect life has to be given more gravity, by way of stronger prosecution and penalty, than showed in these cases.

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#5 Dec 10, 2011
pbfa wrote:
I saw your name, BA, so came to read the article & see what you had to say. I hear ya about Miller's response being odd. AFAIK, at 24 weeks, legal abortion would mean a late term procedure, and is strictly regulated. If the fetus was viable, then this case is deeply troubling indeed. In any event, it's sad.
Good to see you P, I wonder how many on BS's side of the issue will notice that we're not the extremist, heartless, people they portray us to be. Not that it matters much.
pbfa

United States

#6 Dec 11, 2011
Badaxe wrote:
<quoted text>Good to see you P, I wonder how many on BS's side of the issue will notice that we're not the extremist, heartless, people they portray us to be. Not that it matters much.
THis story concerns me on a visceral level, because I can't imagine a 24-25 week pregnant woman making a decision to risk aborting so late with an herbal concoction. I want to know why - what was she thinking? Were there no medical evaluations done? Why so late? Is the woman sane?
NMW the answers are, this abortion is a tragedy. Self-aborting a viable fetus (with no public information as to why) is heart breaking. I hope this woman gets the help needed to prevent this sort of incident in the future. I also hope these charges are reasonable, and not agenda driven.

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#7 Dec 11, 2011
pbfa wrote:
<quoted text>
THis story concerns me on a visceral level, because I can't imagine a 24-25 week pregnant woman making a decision to risk aborting so late with an herbal concoction. I want to know why - what was she thinking? Were there no medical evaluations done? Why so late? Is the woman sane?
NMW the answers are, this abortion is a tragedy. Self-aborting a viable fetus (with no public information as to why) is heart breaking. I hope this woman gets the help needed to prevent this sort of incident in the future. I also hope these charges are reasonable, and not agenda driven.
My concern lies with protection of the fetus at that point. Remember, abortion is strictly regulated at this point in the pregnancy and the reason she "self-aborted" was because she legally could not have had an abortion without a threat to her own life. Again, not knowing all the circumstances, although the woman may be worthy of some sympathy or understanding, she aborted a fetus that may have been able to survive without her. The PC argument of "my body my decision" does not even hold water with R v W after viability, because her right to medical privacy is not absolute.
Although I understand why laws can't be made to protect the fetus, for the sake of the fetus, I still believe that some decisions and laws were made and passed with the intent to do such. Fetal homicide laws, although they are tactfully written to be in the interest of the mother (understandably so), they were passed with the help of PL lawmakers who's intent was to protect the fetus. It's never "all about the woman", imo, the fetus, even if it's just the State's interest to protect life, is always a legitimate argument and concern. I do agree with R v W that the woman’s right to privacy is a more compelling legal argument until the point of viability, but it's never just about her.
She broke a law intended to protect life, I personally don't see an agenda there that's not present in any law intended to do such.

“Reality is better than truth.”

Since: Nov 09

Indianapolis

#8 Dec 11, 2011
RvW specifically refers to the abortion laws on the books at the time, concerning women who seek out a medical abortion. A good lawyer should be able to point out that self-abortion was not illegal then and should not be now. Do we really want the stat to tell us when we can self-treat and when we must bow to the medical community and legal community?

There are laws against self-mutilation, but nobody thought to charge when that hiker removed his own arm when it got pinned under a rock. We have no idea why the woman aborted--to do so in the advanced stages of pregnancy is such an anomaly that there must be some major problem involved. Who benefits from locking this woman up? How are we a better society for doing so?
Badaxe wrote:
<quoted text>My concern lies with protection of the fetus at that point. Remember, abortion is strictly regulated at this point in the pregnancy and the reason she "self-aborted" was because she legally could not have had an abortion without a threat to her own life. Again, not knowing all the circumstances, although the woman may be worthy of some sympathy or understanding, she aborted a fetus that may have been able to survive without her. The PC argument of "my body my decision" does not even hold water with R v W after viability, because her right to medical privacy is not absolute.
Although I understand why laws can't be made to protect the fetus, for the sake of the fetus, I still believe that some decisions and laws were made and passed with the intent to do such. Fetal homicide laws, although they are tactfully written to be in the interest of the mother (understandably so), they were passed with the help of PL lawmakers who's intent was to protect the fetus. It's never "all about the woman", imo, the fetus, even if it's just the State's interest to protect life, is always a legitimate argument and concern. I do agree with R v W that the woman’s right to privacy is a more compelling legal argument until the point of viability, but it's never just about her.
She broke a law intended to protect life, I personally don't see an agenda there that's not present in any law intended to do such.

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#9 Dec 11, 2011
cpeter1313 wrote:
RvW specifically refers to the abortion laws on the books at the time, concerning women who seek out a medical abortion. A good lawyer should be able to point out that self-abortion was not illegal then and should not be now. Do we really want the stat to tell us when we can self-treat and when we must bow to the medical community and legal community?
There are laws against self-mutilation, but nobody thought to charge when that hiker removed his own arm when it got pinned under a rock. We have no idea why the woman aborted--to do so in the advanced stages of pregnancy is such an anomaly that there must be some major problem involved. Who benefits from locking this woman up? How are we a better society for doing so?
<quoted text>
You have completely missed the State's compelling interest in the protection of the potentiality of life, the fetus's, per R v W. Once it's reached a potential state of viability the woman's right to medical privacy, is second to protection of the State's interest. Your example of the hiker is irrelevant, his life was in jeopardy, had the woman's life been in jeopardy she would have been able to legally seek an abortion from a doctor. After 24 weeks of pregnancy it requires a doctor to determine if her life is in jeopardy and if an abortion may occur, this is to protect the State's interest not just to prevent the woman from harming herself. And Yes, the State has every right to protect it's interests.

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#10 Dec 11, 2011
cpeter1313 wrote:
We have no idea why the woman aborted--to do so in the advanced stages of pregnancy is such an anomaly that there must be some major problem involved. Who benefits from locking this woman up? How are we a better society for doing so?
No, we don't know the circumstances, but the prosecuer who charged her does. Do you think it's impossible for a woman to do wrong? And as in all prosecutions of people that break the law, it acts as a deterrent to prevent others from aborting viable fetus without it being a risk to their life. You are forgetting the viable fetus here, it is worthy of protection as well as the woman.

From Roe v Wade;

"With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in potential life, the "compelling" point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother."

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#11 Dec 11, 2011
**prosecutor**
pbfa

United States

#12 Dec 11, 2011
Badaxe wrote:
<quoted text>My concern lies with protection of the fetus at that point. Remember, abortion is strictly regulated at this point in the pregnancy and the reason she "self-aborted" was because she legally could not have had an abortion without a threat to her own life. Again, not knowing all the circumstances, although the woman may be worthy of some sympathy or understanding, she aborted a fetus that may have been able to survive without her. The PC argument of "my body my decision" does not even hold water with R v W after viability, because her right to medical privacy is not absolute.
Although I understand why laws can't be made to protect the fetus, for the sake of the fetus, I still believe that some decisions and laws were made and passed with the intent to do such. Fetal homicide laws, although they are tactfully written to be in the interest of the mother (understandably so), they were passed with the help of PL lawmakers who's intent was to protect the fetus. It's never "all about the woman", imo, the fetus, even if it's just the State's interest to protect life, is always a legitimate argument and concern. I do agree with R v W that the woman’s right to privacy is a more compelling legal argument until the point of viability, but it's never just about her.
She broke a law intended to protect life, I personally don't see an agenda there that's not present in any law intended to do such.
You know, Kev, as adamantly PC as I am, I have no argument to make against your position. This situation, no matter what the circs were, is heartbreaking. Post viability, without a compelling medical reason, I just don't understand this case.

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#14 Dec 11, 2011
realkatie wrote:
<quoted text>
This prosecutor may be going for the gusto in a way the prosecutor for Casey Anthony did or in ways prosecutors go after gang members. From the article supplied by your link, it states the fetus was about 6-7" long. That puts development between 12-16wks gestation; definitely not viable.
It is a sad story and the article does mention there may be a desperate circumstance involved. We just don't know details, BA, and that's just how it is. Will have to see what the verdict is or if charges get dropped like in the other cases mentioned. But I'm not so sure the state has an interest at this point. jmo
Obviously, if it's less than 24 weeks than it's a whole different situation, legally. One would assume that the prosecutor knows the laws and its boundaries though. I could see where being able to prove intent in the other cases might be hard, but these charges were based on her own words, according to the article. Yeah, there are some overzealous prosecutors, like in the Duke Lacrosse team case, but that is the exception and not the rule.
Again, obviously, I am arguing this assuming it was to the 24th week period as suggested by the story and the charges.

“Reality is better than truth.”

Since: Nov 09

Indianapolis

#16 Dec 11, 2011
Really? I don't see anything in the constitution which negates individual rights on the basis of state's rights unless there is a public danger or involvement, such as manifest destiny or public danger. neither apply here. RvW covers the medical act of abortion, not a personal act--penalties are always concerning the physician, not the woman. Medical privacy requires medical consultation; there was none here.

Fetal homicide laws are based on the woman's right to carry to term, not the state's interest in the fetus. Either they honor the woman's right or not.
Badaxe wrote:
<quoted text>You have completely missed the State's compelling interest in the protection of the potentiality of life, the fetus's, per R v W. Once it's reached a potential state of viability the woman's right to medical privacy, is second to protection of the State's interest. Your example of the hiker is irrelevant, his life was in jeopardy, had the woman's life been in jeopardy she would have been able to legally seek an abortion from a doctor. After 24 weeks of pregnancy it requires a doctor to determine if her life is in jeopardy and if an abortion may occur, this is to protect the State's interest not just to prevent the woman from harming herself. And Yes, the State has every right to protect it's interests.

“Reality is better than truth.”

Since: Nov 09

Indianapolis

#17 Dec 11, 2011
Again, RvW covers the laws concerning physician-performed abortions. At best, this is new legal territory. Ultimately, who has final domain over the woman's body?

This is a misdemeanor charge, btw--something some women may well prefer to deal with than an unwanted pregnancy. The medical evidence will also have to determine if the fetus WAS viable.
Badaxe wrote:
<quoted text> No, we don't know the circumstances, but the prosecuer who charged her does. Do you think it's impossible for a woman to do wrong? And as in all prosecutions of people that break the law, it acts as a deterrent to prevent others from aborting viable fetus without it being a risk to their life. You are forgetting the viable fetus here, it is worthy of protection as well as the woman.
From Roe v Wade;
"With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in potential life, the "compelling" point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother."

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#18 Dec 11, 2011
cpeter1313 wrote:
Really? I don't see anything in the constitution which negates individual rights on the basis of state's rights unless there is a public danger or involvement, such as manifest destiny or public danger. neither apply here.
You will not find any explicit right to privacy in the constitution either.
RvW; "On the basis of elements such as these, appellant and some amici argue that the woman's right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree. Appellant's arguments that Texas either has no valid interest at all in regulating the abortion decision, or no interest strong enough to support any limitation upon the woman's sole determination, are unpersuasive. The [410 U.S. 113, 154] Court's decisions recognizing a right of privacy also acknowledge that some state regulation in areas protected by that right is appropriate. As noted above, a State may properly assert important interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life."
cpeter1313 wrote:
RvW covers the medical act of abortion, not a personal act--penalties are always concerning the physician, not the woman. Medical privacy requires medical consultation; there was none here.
It's the State's interest in protecting the life and health of the pregnant woman that requires a physician to perform abortion.
RvW; " The State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient."
....."In assessing the State's interest, recognition may be given to the less rigid claim that as long as at least potential life is involved, the State may assert interests beyond the protection of the pregnant woman alone."

It is a medical procedure protected by her personal right to privacy, a right that is not absolute.
cpeter1313 wrote:
Fetal homicide laws are based on the woman's right to carry to term, not the state's interest in the fetus. Either they honor the woman's right or not.
<quoted text>
No, again, as I explained in that post, although they may be written to avoid a slippery slope, it was passed with the help of many PL lawmakers that had the intent of protecting the fetus. Just like it was found that the constitution had the intent of personal privacy.

“Reality is better than truth.”

Since: Nov 09

Indianapolis

#19 Dec 11, 2011
If woman finds that, in her third trimester, her fetus must have medical attention or it will die, she is perfectly free to deny that treatment; no laws say otherwise. Are you suggesting that a woman be strapped down and the treatment be given against her will?

And, again, RvW does not even intimate that it covers self-performed abortions; it refer specifically to the texas laws (and by extension, all other similar laws) concerning a MEDICAL abortion performed by a physician.
Badaxe wrote:
<quoted text>You will not find any explicit right to privacy in the constitution either.
RvW; "On the basis of elements such as these, appellant and some amici argue that the woman's right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree. Appellant's arguments that Texas either has no valid interest at all in regulating the abortion decision, or no interest strong enough to support any limitation upon the woman's sole determination, are unpersuasive. The [410 U.S. 113, 154] Court's decisions recognizing a right of privacy also acknowledge that some state regulation in areas protected by that right is appropriate. As noted above, a State may properly assert important interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life."
<quoted text>It's the State's interest in protecting the life and health of the pregnant woman that requires a physician to perform abortion.
RvW; " The State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient."
....."In assessing the State's interest, recognition may be given to the less rigid claim that as long as at least potential life is involved, the State may assert interests beyond the protection of the pregnant woman alone."
It is a medical procedure protected by her personal right to privacy, a right that is not absolute.
<quoted text>No, again, as I explained in that post, although they may be written to avoid a slippery slope, it was passed with the help of many PL lawmakers that had the intent of protecting the fetus. Just like it was found that the constitution had the intent of personal privacy.

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#20 Dec 11, 2011
cpeter1313 wrote:
Again, RvW covers the laws concerning physician-performed abortions. At best, this is new legal territory.
Again, RvW requires that a physician perform abortions for the State's interest in protecting the health of the woman, and laws against self-abortion have been around longer than, and since, the RvW decision.
cpeter1313 wrote:
Ultimately, who has final domain over the woman's body?
Legally? It depends on the situation and circumstances, since her right to privacy is not absolute.
cpeter1313 wrote:
This is a misdemeanor charge, btw--something some women may well prefer to deal with than an unwanted pregnancy. The medical evidence will also have to determine if the fetus WAS viable.
<quoted text>
Yeah, I noted in an earlier post that it was just a misdemeanor, it still has a penalty of up to a year. I would think that a woman would rather spend 3 more months pregnant than a year in jail. That may sound cold to you, but no more cold than a woman self-aborting a viable fetus that didn't pose a threat to her health or life. Again, I am basing my arguments on what I assume from this article, but even if it turns out that the circumstances were different it wouldn't negate the arguments I am making on self aborting a viable fetus.

“docendo discimus”

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#21 Dec 11, 2011
cpeter1313 wrote:
If woman finds that, in her third trimester, her fetus must have medical attention or it will die, she is perfectly free to deny that treatment; no laws say otherwise. Are you suggesting that a woman be strapped down and the treatment be given against her will?
Where would you get that I'm suggesting that? A medical procedure to save the fetus could be dangerous to the woman and jeopardize her health and safety, so no, that would not be logical or consistent with the RvW decision.
cpeter1313 wrote:
And, again, RvW does not even intimate that it covers self-performed abortions; it refer specifically to the Texas laws (and by extension, all other similar laws) concerning a MEDICAL abortion performed by a physician.
<quoted text>
And, again, I'll disagree. It found that the State's interest in protecting the woman could/should REQUIRE a licensed physician to perform abortion. The Justices involved in the Roe V Wade knew far too well that it's finding would govern abortion laws through out the country and it has, it was about much more than just the Texas laws.

“Let Them Live”

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#22 Dec 11, 2011
Disgusting.

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