Recently, I wrote a piece on a very grim subject: infanticide and abortion. The immediate cause of the piece was the murder of a newborn in Ohio by her mother: a college student. This made me remember a case I read about when I myself was in college. In Illinois, a father took his newborn son and bashed his head against the floor, killing him. The baby had been born with some defects: a harelip, a cleft palate, and a heart condition.
The Illinois case made me think about abortion, way back then. The more recent case brings up the same issues.
A reader, responding to my piece, has sent me an article by Jack Baruth, who is a leading writer about cycling and auto-racing. It appeared two weeks ago. I’d like to quote from it:
He was delivered to me in a sealed plastic box, a wrinkled three-pound homunculus too exhausted and sick to make a single sound. Handle him with these gloves, they said. Don’t breathe on him. Eventually you can take him out of the box, out of the post-natal ICU, out of the hospital. But not soon. Everything was up for grabs. He’d arrived dangerously early. Thirty-eight states in this union would have permitted me to break his neck the moment I saw him; at just under twenty-four weeks of age, his life was legally forfeit. He wasn’t my son, wasn’t a child, wasn’t a person. He was tissue. He was a choice.
His mother and I made the choice to give him a fighting chance. The rest was up to him.
John is seven years old now. . . .
To read the rest of the piece, go here.