Commentary by Judie Brown
It is perhaps no accident that April 2007 is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Far too many horrors have converged on the national psyche in the last two weeks for us to ignore the obvious. For at its core, the root cause of child abuse resides in large part in our failure to recognize cruelty and its progeny.
Perhaps a few examples will help clarify what it really means to cherish those among us who are most vulnerable.
Take, for example, the situation unfolding in Austin, Texas. A 17-month-old boy is dying, and all his parents ask is that basic comfort care be given to him until his death occurs naturally, as it most certainly will. But working against these parents is a law and a hospital staff who have deemed it "futile" to provide life support to Emilio Gonzales.
Emilio cannot speak for himself; he is too young and too weak. His parents have done their best to defend his right to comfort care, but others appear to think they know better. At this point it is quite possible that Emilio will die a horrible death, gasping for air he cannot manage to breathe on his own as he is slowly asphyxiated. The cause of his death will not be his disease; rather it will be a decision that his is a life unworthy to be lived.
In Minnesota this past Friday, a 17-year-old girl gave birth and then stabbed her baby to death. She stabbed her baby over and over again-more than 135 times, according to local police. The mother of this dead child explained to police that her baby had been born dead, but the investigation proved otherwise. This young mother, Nicole Beecroft, finally admitted that when her daughter was born, she was in a "panic state" and did not know what she was doing. Her bail has been set at $1 million.
On the same day, across the ocean in Great Britain, Caitlin Moran wrote a commentary in The Times, one of the most prominent daily newspapers in that country. Moran is the mother of two living children, and she proudly tells her readers, she is also the mother of a dead child, a child she aborted because "I was just too tired to do it all again." She claims that she has a hard time understanding the pro-life movement's focus on the sanctity of life, saying that mothers who are pressured not to abort should be allowed to make "rational decisions" about their own future. In other words, there should be nothing wrong with the choice to have your child killed in utero.
These snippets from the past week's headlines provide us with a small window through which we should take a very long look as we reflect, pray and collectively grieve for the tragic loss of life on the campus of Virginia Tech. The senseless murder of 32 people has caught us all off guard, and it has shocked us-at least until the next horrific occurrence robs those victims of the attention we have all paid.
Notice, if you can, that our nation was gripped by the horror of the Virginia Tech massacre, but we never stopped for a millisecond to find out more about the young girl who stabbed her newborn child 135 times or the little boy in Austin who will die a horrible death if someone does not intervene on his behalf. Take a moment to reflect on the reasons why a woman who touts her own child's death as her right to decide her own future receives a national forum, which thanks to the internet has become an international forum with nary a word from a single one of our bleeding heart media commentators on the reasons why this writer has lost her moral compass.
There is something tragically wrong with all this violence occurring during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The sponsors of this month of awareness have said that each community must be encouraged to "support children and families." President Bush proclaimed April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month and told the nation that a safe environment must be provided for our young people. And yet we don't seem to be able to connect the dots, to see the reality of our duplicity.
How can we strive for a safer environment for our most precious asset, our children, when we choose to ignore the tragedy that has been reaped by 34 years of wholesale abortion, an act so cruel, so vile and yet protected under cover of law. Why haven't we examined the effect that such legally protected carnage can have on our nation, our children, ourselves?
Oh, it is true that an abortionist does not brandish a pistol in order to execute his victim. And it is certainly true that in a hospital setting, no identifiable weapon is used when a decision is made to cut off oxygen or nutrition from a helpless patient. But the results are the same; someone who cannot defend himself will die a horrible death as the nation looks on, waiting for the next tragedy to receive its attention on the nightly news.
we as a nation unwilling to see what might have created a mentality that results in the violent stabbing of a newborn or the senseless murder of students and teachers on a college campus? Is it not possible that after all these years of marketing the most heinous form of child abuse ever known to man, America is simply reaping the fruits of our fascination with "a woman's right to choose"?
This has been a week of profound sorrow and agony for those of us who realize that there is no such thing as a life unworthy to be lived. We have mourned the loss of each of these victims, including more than 3,500 innocents who die each day behind the doors of abortion providers' offices. We have tried to reach out wherever we could to give spiritual support to those parents who either have lost a loved one through an act of violence or who have lost their rights in a nation that seems evermore dedicated to eliminating the "unwanted" among us. We are saddened at the prospect that next week could bring even greater misery as we slowly descend into a state of moral blindness that knows no depths.
In order to truly understand what child abuse means, we first have to admit the invaluable nature of every single child in our midst, born and preborn. Until then, the blood will continue to flow. God help us all.
Release issued: 4 Apr 07