The Observer—Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford
Publication date: February 4, 2005
By Patricia Pitkus Bainbridge
Director, Respect Life Office
A recent incident in Michigan resulted in the tragic death of a 24-week-old unborn baby boy. According to reports, a 16-year-old boy (at the request of his 16-year-old pregnant girlfriend) repeatedly hit her abdomen with a 22-inch “souvenir” baseball bat over a three-week period in an attempt to “end the pregnancy.”
While many tiptoe over the truth, it is obvious these two individuals intentionally killed their unborn child. Every day for three weeks, the young man—with full consent of the young woman—struck her with the specific intent of killing the baby. They could have stopped the assault at any time, but they chose not to. They teamed up to brutally destroy an innocent life and then one of the grandparents helped to bury the little boy in the back yard. A cadaver dog was brought in to locate his tiny body.
No one is being held responsible for the death of the baby and only the young man has been charged with “assaulting a pregnant woman causing a miscarriage.” Under Michigan law, the pregnant woman “no matter how complicit in the termination” cannot be charged. Both grandfathers publicly defended the young man’s actions. There has been little public outrage over the brutal death of the little boy. Instead, the young man is being portrayed as the victim.
The teens will most likely come to regret what they did, but they will not benefit from people making excuses for them. They must be held accountable and helped to understand why their actions were wrong.
Eric Smith, the Macomb County prosecutor, remarked, “The length at which these two 16-year-olds went to abort this unborn child is disturbing.” It demonstrates what can happen when children are not taught the value of chastity and the value of all human life—born and unborn.
The parents of the young man hired defense attorney, Miranda Massie who wasted no time in offering excuses for her client’s despicable actions, calling him “a gentle, loving boy.” Most reasonable people would agree “gentle, loving” young men do not repeatedly hit their pregnant girlfriends with a bat in an attempt to kill their unborn children.
Taking advantage of the opportunity to promote ideology, Massie commented, “We can provide teens with access to safe and legal abortions and access to intelligent information about sex, or we are going to see more back alley abortions like this one. Parental notification laws and abstinence-only sex education approaches add up to desperate acts like these.” She wants people to think the reason these young people engaged in non-marital sex and then wanted to eliminate the “consequence” of that behavior is the fault of laws and “abstinence-only sex education.” No, they did what they did because the culture around them screams that there are no absolute rights or wrongs and that the unborn have no value.
"It’s always tragic when people resort to such drastic measures, when there are appropriate, safe medical measures available,” bemoaned Lori Lamerand of Planned Parenthood. Just how “safe” are these “medical measures” for the unborn baby or how “safe” were these procedures for young women like Holly Patterson—an eighteen-year-old who died from an RU-486 abortion obtained at Planned Parenthood in 2003?
Abortion is always a drastic measure. It takes the life of a very young human being.
Planned Parenthood, the largest single committer of abortions in this country, chooses to ignore the tragedy of the deaths (244,628 in 2003) of unborn babies occurring in its own facilities. To them it is simply a “choice” and I predict they will use—more accurately, misuse—the factoids in this case to ignite fear about increasing numbers of “back alley” abortions in their attempt to repeal parental notification laws and to force all schools to teach “comprehensive sex education.” They never miss an opportunity—real or contrived—to further the culture of death.