There is a highly disturbing case out of New York where a Hudson Valley anesthesiologist, Thomas Pfeiffer, 44, had been charged with strangulation, abortion and assault after he allegedly choked a woman and forced her to swallow a “morning after” pill after she told him she was pregnant. The abortion charge is relatively rare in criminal cases.
The police responded to a “no voice” 911 call from a home in the town of Rosendale, 60 miles south of Albany, and found the alleged victim. The case will obviously turn on the testimony of the woman and physical evidence of force. Pfeiffer could argue that the woman took the pill voluntarily and then regretted the decision. However, any anesthesiologist does not ordinarily proscribe morning after pills and the strangulation charge indicates evidence of force.
It is relatively rare to see the charge of an abortion felony. State law contains provisions for self-abortion as well as abortion by others. The New York code defines an “Abortional act” as
“an act committed upon or with respect to a female, whether by another person or by the female herself, whether she is pregnant or not, whether directly upon her body or by the administering, taking or prescription of drugs or in any other manner, with intent to cause a miscarriage of such female.”
The crime of abortion in the first degree depends on whether the fetus is over 24 weeks. Otherwise, the second degree offense applies:
A person is guilty of abortion in the second degree when he commits an abortional act upon a female, unless such abortional act is justifiable pursuant to subdivision three of section 125.05. Abortion in the second degree is a class E felony. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/PEN/THREE/H/125/125.40#sthash.qThgV56o.dpuf
The woman could also bring tort actions for assault, battery, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress as well as possible false imprisonment (depending on how the facts are established).