By Chris Gast, Right to Life of Michigan Education Coordinator
On April 18, a couple in Flint were taking a nightly walk in the cold spring air. They were walking down a wide city road, just off I-69. On one side of the street, a McDonald’s. On the other side, a child care facility.
Suddenly, the wife began freaking out. She told her husband to come over and look at what she found. At first, the husband thought it was something else, but then it became undeniably clear to him: “And then I said, it’s just a bird, and she said, no, it’s a human baby.”
A human baby. The medical examiner determined the boy was between 20 and 23 weeks of gestation, possibly old enough to survive if given intensive medical care. He wasn’t in his mother’s womb, or a hospital NICU, or even at home, but lying dead on the side of a busy road in Flint.
He wasn’t a blob of tissue. He wasn’t a tumor. He wasn’t any of the dozen other epithets abortion supporters have come up with to demean the value of human life before birth; no, he was a human baby.
“There’s no words or expression to explain that other than being traumatized from it,” the husband said, of finding his lifeless body casually cast aside within sight of a child care facility.
But how can this be? We are told it’s just tissue, with no human value. After all, in Michigan, it’s now legal to take the life of a child after viability for absolutely any reason. Thanks to Proposal 3, Governor Whitmer, and the Michigan Legislature repealing prolife laws, they don’t even need to pretend it’s for a “health” reason anymore.
“No woman just has a late-term abortion because they want to,” some have said, to pretend that late-term abortions are 100% always about the most tragic of cases you ever heard. Who would so casually throw life away?
After the police responded, it seems the baby died as a result of a miscarriage. Miscarriages and stillbirths happen. I’ve even heard a prolife speaker with the gut-wrenching story of losing a baby hours before birth. I’ve seen up close and personal what a miscarriage looks like. Yet, happening like this?
“She was walking down the sidewalk, she was in pain and thought she was having a miscarriage,” [Flint Police Chief Terence] Green said. “And while she was walking down the sidewalk, that’s when she gave birth to the fetus, removed it from her pants and tossed it aside. That’s her statement.”
He said the callous reaction from the 26-year-old and her mother affected officers emotionally.
“The grandmother made the statement that, and I quote, ‘She didn’t understand what the big deal was. People throw trash and needles on the sidewalk all the time,’” Green said.
Trash. Needles from desperate people shooting up heroin to forget about the tragedies of their lives for a few blissful, peaceful empty moments. A human baby.
Is this where our “civilization” is right now? Yes, yes it is. Why should the grandmother say anything differently? After all, we throw the bodies of children in the trash in Michigan, and then penalize the people who discovered the bodies—rather than the person who stole the children’s lives.
We name unborn children with epithets worse than garbage. I’ve never been on South Dort Highway in Flint, but judging from Google Maps, it looks like every other major street coming off a highway interchange in Michigan: dingy, with the same repeating pattern of chain businesses interspersed with run-down small businesses still clinging to life in a declining state.
So, why should the grandmother, looking around, reading the news, social media, and experiencing everyday life care about throwing the body of a fetus on a sidewalk for someone else to deal with?
Yet, despite the sorry state of our culture, the undeniable facts of life remain. A couple talking a walk are still horrified to see a baby’s body cast aside so casually. Police officers who have a front row seat to the worst of humanity every day can still experience shock when a woman compares her grandson to heroin needles thrown away on an empty city lot.
It’s unsure what—if any charges—will be brought. Michigan’s laws regarding the final disputation of a dead fetus generally involve abortion facilities, hospitals, and funeral directors, where most dead people end up. The police said there was evidence the 26-year-old mother of the abandoned boy was on heroin while pregnant, but it’s unclear if Proposal 3 would even allow any charges to stick if the boy’s death wasn’t a natural accident. After all, the Michigan Constitution now plainly reads, “The state shall not penalize, prosecute, or otherwise take adverse action against an individual based on their actual, potential, perceived, or alleged pregnancy outcomes, including but not limited to miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion.”
Contrast this story with the story of Austin & Nicole LeBlanc. Nicole publicly shared the story of their daughters, Maria Therese and Rachel Clare, who were born—and died—on May 16. They were conjoined twins, and unlikely to survive long after birth. They were loved and cared for before birth, as well as the hour they lived after birth, and given the proper respect in death every human being is entitled to. They have names, and will be remembered. They mattered, and touched many people in a positive way.
The unnamed son in Flint mattered, too, and that’s why those involved in the case were so upset.
We could say what a cruel world that robs some of life before they get to spend the 76.1 years our government officials say we can expect on average, but we would be extreme hypocrites. After all, We rob the lives of about 30,000 children in Michigan every year, almost always for our own convenience. How are we to judge?
Which way, Michigan? The way of respect for human life—every human life, at every state, regardless of any characteristics or categories? Or the way of death, where we only value that which is convenient? If you choose the later, just don’t look too closely at the side of the road, where you can see dead babies lying in the gutter along with the trash and needles; you might be bothered for a moment, and we can’t have that, can we?