Mourning the Unlawfully Terminated

You can’t have it both ways. You can hurt and be angry for the victim of the most recent “womb robbery” whose baby died but she will survive. You can be disturbed at the disorder that would cause a woman to want to cut open a 7 month pregnant belly and try to remove the baby. Be horrified. But the worst you can call it is 1st Degree Assault and “Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy”. But your sympathy can only go so far. You can’t with a clear conscience, join with the voice of the victim to claim that her baby was killed, at least not if you are an abortion rights supporter. The sympathy offered has to be abbreviated lest the double standard show.

Colorado law allows for outpatient abortions up to 26 weeks and ‘medically indicated’ (e.g. if the baby has a genetic disorder or fetal anomaly) abortions up to 34 weeks. The baby that was killed on the 18th was about 28 weeks or so… in the gray area of whether or not he or she could be considered a human being. According to law, either a pregnancy was unlawfully terminated, or a baby was killed. A matter of days on either side of the 26 weeks could be the deciding factor, or whether the baby took only one gasp of air or five… if any.

preg1The absurdity of dancing the viability dance and ‘born alive’ clauses seem to cruise by our national conscience unchecked. Supposedly Americans generally support abortion in cases of rape and incest. Yet most Americans feel increasingly uncomfortable with abortion as a pregnancy progresses. Viability comes into play where a baby has no rights one week, but does the next… or will be protected in one state but not another. Not to mention how the standard of whether being “wanted” or not determines if one baby gets a medical team fighting for his life and another baby gets  a quick, sanitary death. I always had a sick sort of respect for President Obama on one point: while people everywhere (pro-life and pro-choice) were disturbed by his stance supporting partial-birth abortion — and voted against banning it in 1997 — I think it illustrated his willingness to be consistent. In a sense, he saw infanticide as something no different from abortion. If abortion was legal, why does the geographical location of a fetus’ head make a difference when it’s being killed?

Some day, God-willing, lawmakers and law enforcers will realize how complicated and inconsistent our standards and laws are. Sick, and horrifying tales like this are certainly never welcome to hear, but I can’t help be thankful for the conversation coming up again and again: we NEED to be reminded of the ludicrous, legal corner we’ve backed ourselves into with the passage of Roe vs. Wade that ties our hands in extending our fullest compassion to the parents of this baby. May the victims of this crime find healing and peace and may their pain not be in vain.