The mainstream media have taken notice of a horrific story about an 18-year-old New Mexico woman who allegedly threw her newborn baby in a dumpster.
People around America were horrified as they learned that the discarded infant, whose umbilical cord was still attached, would have died if not for a group of dumpster-diving heroes who heard a cry and discovered the child languishing helplessly amid the rubbish.
People should no doubt be distressed by the diabolical act, yet many of these same individuals appropriately shaking their heads in disbelief are clueless or apathetic to an equally horrific reality: There are places in this country where a woman can legally abort her baby at the same gestational age with no legal consequence.
The accused woman is being charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse — charges to which she pleaded not guilty.
With these details in mind, it seems Americans are faced with a consistency conundrum. It’s patently clear why tossing a baby in a dumpster as though he’s trash is immoral and illegal.
But what’s maniacally murky is why it’s not equally reprehensible to intentionally murder that same child — at the same gestational age — in the womb? How can one be condemned as murder and the other be left legally unfettered?
If she had sought an abortion a day or two earlier, there are numerous states in America where it would have been perfectly legal to have obtained one.
In such a case, there would be no headlines, no furor, no heartbreaking scenes for the public to bear — just silence, pain and no mercy for the unborn, human life being forsaken.
These questions and statements aren’t meant to be provocative; they’re simply true. Who are we as a country that we’re so willing to (rightfully) cry out over a baby being thrown away in a dumpster and yet so apathetic when children are legally discarded so diabolically?
As the Supreme Court weighs the sufficiency and permeability of Roe v. Wade in the impending Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, preparing to weigh in on whether to allow states to reexamine and restrict abortion at earlier gestational ages, these are the issues with which any good, moral or just society must contend.
It’s easy to fire off a hashtag or to nauseatingly chant about “shouting your abortion,” but when we’re faced with the reality of what is happening regarding late-term abortion — the murderous snuffing out of human life — our souls must cry out in pain.
And yes, it’s well-known that the majority of abortions happen much earlier in a pregnancy (and that at least some cases are complex), but statistics can be deceiving or, at the least, incomplete. The pro-abortion lobby loves to proclaim that “only 1.4% [of abortions] occur at or after 21 weeks.”
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s conservative estimate of 629,898 abortions in 2019, even 1% would put that number at more than 6,000 late-term abortions. But the number is likely much higher.
Using that statistic to dismiss the prevalence of late-term abortion is like proclaiming that virtually no one has died from COVID-19 because there’s only a 1.3% chance of death. Meanwhile, America has faced more than 850,000 pandemic-related deaths.
Statistics matter, but it’s the numbers embedded in them — the human lives — that should be of paramount concern. Our culture must do better, and this alleged attempted murder case challenges us to do just that.
— Billy Hallowell is a journalist, commentator and digital TV host who has covered thousands of faith and culture stories. He is the director of content and communications at Pure Flix and previously served as the senior editor at Faithwire and the former faith and culture editor at TheBlaze.