MANHATTAN, New York, December 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A superintendent of a Manhattan apartment complex was horrified to discover the remains of a tiny male baby still attached to his umbilical cord as he was sorting garbage on Tuesday.

“When I found the baby, I didn’t know if it was real at first. It was so bad. After that happened, I just stayed in my apartment for a while because I didn’t feel well,” said the man, who declined to give his name, to the Daily Mail.

Police traced the baby to Yaribely Almonte, 20, a former resident of the apartment who was arrested the following evening and charged with self-abortion in the first degree. Authorities are investigating the woman for reportedly drinking an herbal concoction to end her pregnancy, the Associated Press learned.

New York state law prohibits a woman from committing or submitting to an “abortional act upon herself which causes her miscarriage” once she has carried her baby for more than 24 weeks. New York state law justifies abortion if performed by a licensed physician to save the life of the mother, or for any reason within 24 weeks following conception. 

It remains unclear how old the baby was at the time of delivery.

The state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services told the New York Times that only four other women had been charged with self-abortion in 31 years. Three of the cases were dismissed, with one resulting in a conditional discharge provided that the woman’s record remained clean.

“This case is obviously a tragedy for both mother and child,” said Greg Pfundstein, executive director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a New York pro-life organization.

Pfundstein told LifeSiteNews.com that the case illustrates what is at the heart of New York’s disturbingly high 41% abortion rate— “desperation.”

Working in the New York pro-life front has allowed Pfundstein to see that abortion does not “empower” women, but has become a last resort for women who feel like they have “no choice.”

“These babies deserve to live and women deserve to be supported in times of tremendous need,” he said.

The mother’s desperate actions and the discovery of the body are reminiscent of the case of a Canadian woman who strangled her newborn child and threw its body over the fence. Two months ago Alberta Justice Joanne Veit caused outrage internationally when she expressed sympathy with the woman’s crime based upon Canada’s acceptance of abortion.

However, pro-life activists responded that the judge’s decision simply exposed the fact that the legalized acceptance of killing the unborn inevitably leads to the devaluing of human life after birth.

Justice Veit stated in her closing arguments that “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept, and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”

Authorities released Ms. Almonte with a date to appear in court on January 3rd, reported the Times. It remains unclear who is representing her and how her case will proceed in light of New York’s permissive abortion scene.