I read a news story this morning that gave me a memory. I dug out the text of a speech I gave, many years ago. The speech was about abortion. And, in it, I outlined how I had come to an anti-abortion view. Here is a quick section:
During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I was a camp counselor in Elgin, Illinois. It was Camp Wa-ta-ga-mie, known by some as Camp Want My Mommy. I was reading the Chicago Tribune every day, and I noticed a column by Michael Chapman.
It concerned a recent case in the area. A man had killed his child when the child was 45 minutes old — I believe he smothered the child with a pillow. The baby had been born with a deformity, as I remember. The father was being prosecuted for manslaughter.
And the columnist pointed out — this seems elementary and obvious now, but it was a revelation to me at the time — the columnist pointed out that the child could have been “gotten rid of” not long before, with no legal penalty. Indeed, it would have been an admired choice. But now the father was being tried for manslaughter, basically because of a lousy 45 minutes. What was the big difference?
Yeah, good question: What was the big difference? I had to think.
This morning, I read this news article:
ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A former college student who gave birth in her sorority house was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole for killing the newborn by throwing her in the trash.
Emile Weaver, 21, was found guilty by a jury last month of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Prosecutors said Weaver gave birth in a bathroom at the Delta Gamma Theta sorority at Muskingum University on April 22, 2015, then purposefully caused the death of her baby.
They said the baby girl died from asphyxiation after Weaver put her in a plastic trash bag and left it outside the sorority house.
Two questions: What in our culture would have let Miss Weaver know that what she ended up doing was wrong? Also: What is the difference between her act and abortion? I mean, really? What is the difference? Why is one a celebrated “choice” and the other a crime worthy of life in prison?
What difference does a few weeks make? Or a few days, or a month or two? Honestly, what’s the difference?
P.S. An Army general, Wesley Clark, briefly ran for the Democratic nomination for president. Discussing abortion, he said, “Life begins with the mother’s decision.” Well, this college student decided no.