Abortionist Stephen Pack, 44, of the posh Westchester County community of Chappaqua, New York was arrested by police after attempting to involuntarily abort his mistress, Joy Schepis, a 31-year-old nurse, by repeatedly stabbing her in the leg with a syringe filled with the abortifacient drug methotrexate on April 14, 2000.
He had asked her to have an abortion, but she had refused, and said that she would take care of her baby without his support. But this was not good enough for Pack.
Witnesses said that Pack shouted “I’m giving you an abortion … You are such a bitch!” as he struggled with her and forced her to the ground near a hospital’s parking garage. He was arrested minutes later and was arraigned on April 16 on charges of assault, criminal abortion, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Joy suffered five stab wounds to her leg and one to her buttocks in the attack outside Montefiore Hospital, in the Bronx, where she was admitted in stable condition. She underwent a leucovorin rescue, a procedure recommended by New York City Poison Control to counteract the drugs shot into her. Two days after the brutal attack, Joy gave a news interview on the steps of her home and said “I’m in shock. I’m scared. I’m terrified. This is the worst time of my life. … Pray for me and pray for the baby I’m carrying.”
Andrew Rubin, Pack’s attorney, said that after the attack, Pack did not try to flee or discard the needle. Instead, he walked into North Bronx Central Hospital, next door to Montefiore, where he deposited the syringe in a receptacle that is used for that purpose, and told people what he’d done. Pack is married and the syringe attack apparently was his attempt to abort the 6- to 8-week-old unborn child. Hospital employees told investigators that Pack and the nurse had been romantically involved for more than a year, and that he believed she was six weeks pregnant.
Pack said he learned about methotrexate, a labor-inducing drug that works as part of the RU-486 abortion pill process, in an article in The New England Journal of Medicine. He ordered the drug, filled two syringes with it and attacked Schepis in the hospital’s parking lot.
Pack’s wife, who answered the phone, expressed shock when she was told of the incident by a reporter.
On January 11, 2001, Pack pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and a single count of unlawful abortion.
On April 20, 2001, Pack was sentenced to two years in prison. He could have faced up to seven years if convicted at trial, based on a state law banning abortions performed without a woman’s consent. But Pack had reached a plea bargain that said he could not get more than three years for the attack on Joy Schepis.
Before he was sentenced in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, Pack told Justice Ira Globerman that he never meant to hurt Schepis. He said, “After 100 hours of therapy with doctors and priests, I fully understand that my judgment was wrong and that what I did was wrong. I’m very sorry.”
Schepis said that she was pleased Pack would serve time in prison, but she did not believe his apology. She said “I don’t think he’s very sorry for anything except that he’s going to jail.”
Schepis gave birth to a healthy boy on November 28, 2000. The plea deal was finalized after it was clear that the child was healthy. State Supreme Court Justice Ira Globerman sentenced Pack to 3 years of supervision following his release from prison.
References: Erika Martinez, Angela Allen, Eric Lenkowitz and Allen Salkin. “Fight to Save Needle-Attack Nurse’s Unborn Infant.” New York Post, April 16, 2000; Associated Press, April 15, 2000; New York Times, April 15, 2000; “Murder Attempt Shows Danger of Abortion Drugs.” LifeSite Daily News at http://www.lifesite.net, April 17, 2000; “New York Abortion Practitioner Arraigned in Forced Abortion Attempt.” Steven Ertelt’s Pro-Life Infonet at http://www.prolifeinfo.org/infonet.html, April 17, 2000; “Doctor in Forced Abortion Case Not Able to Testify.” Pro-Life Infonet, April 25, 2000; “Doctor Charged With Assault, Attempted Forced Abortion.” Catholic World News Service. News Briefs for April 17, 2000; Kirsten Danis, Laura Italiano, Erika Martinez and Andy Geller. “Needle Nurse Asks For City’s Prayers.” New York Post, April 20, 2000; “Are There Any Feminists Left?” Catalyst [Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights], June 2000, page 5; “Doctor Who Attempted Forced Abortion Indicted.” Catholic World News Briefs at http://www.cwnews.com, May 25, 2000; “Doctor Indicted in Forced Abortion Attempt.” Pro-Life Infonet, May 25, 2000; “Doctor’s Abortion Assault Prompts New Protection for Unborn Children.” Pro-Life Infonet, June 13, 2000; “Mother Who Endured Abortion Injection Has Baby Boy.” Pro-Life Infonet, December 4, 2000; “Doc Pleads Guilty in Abortion Syringe Attack.” Associated Press, January 11, 2000; “Doc Pleads Guilty in Abortion Syringe Attack.” Pro-Life Infonet, January 12, 2001; “LifeSite NewsBytes.” LifeSite Daily News, January 12, 2001; N.Y. Doctor Pleads Guilty to Abortion Charges for Syringe Attack.” Associated Press, January 12, 2001; “Doctor Pleads Guilty in Abortion Syringe Attack.” Catholic World News Briefs, January 12, 2001; Associated Press. “Doctor Gets 2 Years In Abortion-Related Attack.” April 21, 2001; “Doctor Gets Two Years for Attempted Forced Abortion.” The New York Times, April 22, 2001; Steve Ertelt’s Pro-Life Infonet, April 24, 2001.
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