COVID-19 Update: We are open and serving our clients. Learn More >>>
Member of:
Justia Lawyer Rating
American Association for Justice
Union Plus

NY Penal Law § 125.45: Abortion in the first degree

While abortion is generally legal in New York under certain circumstances it is not. An "abortional act" is defined as an action that is intended to cause a miscarriage. An abortion can be a physical act performed upon a pregnant woman as well as the taking of medication to induce a miscarriage. There are 4 different abortion-related offenses in the New York criminal code. The specific abortion charge that you will face depends on how many weeks the pregnant woman was at the time of the abortion and whether or not you performed the abortion on yourself or on another person. Under New York Penal Law § 125.45 you could be prosecuted for abortion in the first degree if you commit an abortion on a woman who is more than 24 weeks pregnant.


Jessica is 25 weeks pregnant. The father of her baby broke up with her and left town. Distraught, Jessica decides to get an abortion. Because she was 25 weeks, she could not find a licensed physician who would perform the abortion. Now 26 weeks, she finds an unlicensed individual who was willing to perform the abortion for cash. Both Jessica and the baby died during the procedure. The person who performed the abortion could be charged with abortion in the first degree because that person was more than 24 weeks pregnant. The person could also face a manslaughter in the second degree charge under New York Penal Law § 125.15.

Related Offenses
  1. Manslaughter in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 125.15
  2. Abortion in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 125.40
  3. Self-abortion in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 125.50
  4. Self-abortion in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 125.55

In order for you to be convicted of abortion in the first degree, you must have intended to cause a miscarriage. If you did not know that the woman was pregnant or if you did not have the intent to cause her to miscarry, then you may be able to successfully defend a charge of abortion in the second degree.


Because abortion in the first degree is a class D felony, if you are convicted you could be sentenced to up to 7 years in state prison.

New York Penal Law § 125.45: Abortion in the first degree

A person is guilty of abortion in the first degree when he commits upon a female pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks an abortional act which causes the miscarriage of such female, unless such abortional act is justifiable pursuant to subdivision three of § 125.05.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are charged with abortion in the first degree it is critical that you have experienced representation. If convicted you could end up behind bars for up to 4 years. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter, conspiracy, murder and other serious crimes. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
My wife and I met under some unconventional circumstances. After I had some legal problems, Mr Bilkis and his firm continually got me out of trouble. I then had his firm represented my wife and he got her out of trouble! We are still married and got our ways straightened away. We both can't thank him enough for saving our lives and our families! J.P.
I contacted Stephen Bilkis' office for an issue regarding a family member and I could not be happier with the results. I have recommended the firm to friends and family, all of whom were also ecstatic with Mr. Bilkis and all members of his staff. P.R.
I was in need of legal assistance for a very sensitive matter for a family member. I contacted the law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC and was met with staff whose demeanor was supportive, compassionate and professional. The lawyer handling our case had many years of experience and treated us as if we were his own family. Our experience was so good, and we became so close to all of the staff and all of the attorneys who assisted us, that we consider them our extended family and continue to send them our home baked gifts for the holidays. P.A.K.
I hired Stephen Bilkis and Associates to represent me on a legal matter a few months ago and am grateful for their swift action and resolution on my behalf. I was impressed with their professionalism and would recommend them to friends and family in a heartbeat. M.B.