1. In 2015, Jorgensen, a woman in Long Island was convicted of manslaughter in the death of her newborn daughter, because she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when her car crashed into another. Her baby died shortly after being delivered by emergency C-section.
2. A pregnant woman can refuse an emergency C-section. If Jorgensen had exercised that right just after the crash, her baby could have been declared stillborn and no prosecution would have taken place. But the baby was delivered and lived, resulting in a manslaughter conviction.
3. There is no statute of limitations for the homicide of a child born after an accident. Why? Because in NY, as in most other states, there is no such thing as a homicide of an unborn child. A homicide victim is defined as a person who has been born alive.
4. Legally, Jorgensen's unborn baby didn't even exist at the time of the accident. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman wondered, "Does it matter if it's impossible to commit this crime?"
5. Assistant District Attorney Karla Lato responded in her brief that since other people who harm a fetus, causing post-natal death, can be convicted of manslaughter, why not the pregnant woman herself?
6. It was clear then that the ramifications of upholding this manslaughter conviction would put every pregnant woman at risk of criminality. It was only a matter of time that if a pregnant woman got shot during an argument, she would get indicted for endangering her baby.
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