The lack of news in baby trial is saddening

Published 9:11 am Friday, May 10, 2013

Column: Guest Column, by Peggy Bennett

Why is it that when 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School were murdered the news was inundated with that story (and very rightly so), but when a man who allegedly has taken the lives of hundreds and thousands of babies is brought to trial for some of those murders, we hear nary a word? This is Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the man who is currently on trial in Philadelphia for the murder of four babies and two adults.

Peggy Bennett

Peggy Bennett

I watched a documentary about this murder trial recently. I felt physically sickened as I watched it; the same feeling I got when I watched the horrific news a few months ago about the Sandy Hook massacre. The lives of the Sandy Hook children (and adults) were horrifically cut short. The lives of the thousands of murdered “Gosnell children” were horrifically cut short as well — taken from the womb prematurely.

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Why don’t we hear about these children in the national news media? What’s the difference? A few centimeters location from the inside to the outside of a womb? Wanted verses unwanted? Part of me desired to turn off that show because it was so difficult to watch. But when I saw all of those empty reserved press seats in that court room, I said NO. If the world won’t validate the lives of these lost children, the least I can do is put up with my discomfort and continue to view this. I can watch what happened to give those lost lives some dignity and relevance in this world. I can show them that there are some people who do care that they are gone; that their lives were tragically cut short.

I will remember Baby Boy A, whom clinic workers testified Dr. Gosnell joked was big enough “to walk me home.” His little body was stuffed into a shoebox crookedly because he was too big for the box, and then jammed into a freezer. Baby D was delivered into a toilet by a woman waiting for Dr. Gosnell. That baby was attempting to swim — to capture a breath of air — before one of the doctor’s assistants pulled it out and cut its neck at the spine. Baby E was crying and whimpering before Dr. Gosnell cut her spine with scissors. Baby C was born and died similarly.

My heart cries out for these children. I cannot be silent. Had these babies been born prematurely under “wanted” circumstances, doctors would have done all they could to save them. I have a friend with two beautiful, strong and healthy boys who were born much more prematurely than these babies. These handsome young teens were given life. I celebrate that.

However, the verdict of unwanted evidently gives someone justification to snip the little spines of babies. Does it? They were no different than my friend’s boys!

The world will say, “But these babies would have been born into impoverished, perhaps drug-filled environments, and most likely lived difficult lives.”

Really? So it’s the quality of life that determines whether one should live or die? Just examine Hitler’s Germany in the early to mid-1900s to see where that rationale leads. You won’t like it.

Then the world will say, “Well, these terminated pregnancies were just anomalies. Of course that’s not right. If pregnancy termination is done properly at an earlier stage — and, oh my goodness, definitely in a more pristine environment — then it’s OK because it’s not a life. It’s just a lump of tissue.”

I would ask the world, when does life begin? Do we really know? Two weeks gestation? Two months? If someone pointed out a building to you and said, “We’re going to demolish that building; blow it up. We don’t think there’s anyone in there, but we’re really not sure. But we’re going to blow it up anyway because we’re pretty sure it’s empty.”

What would you do? Would you let them blow it up knowing that there might be a life in there? My goodness, we will protect owl eggs, eagle eggs and turtle eggs, but not human babies growing in the womb? It would seem that these four little babies (and millions more) paid the ultimate price because humans don’t fall into the “endangered species” list.

I’m going to give these four little murdered babies names. Calling them alphabet letter, A, C, D and E, makes them seem like nobodies — inconsequential lives that, in a blink of an eye, are gone and forgotten.

Jacob, Kane, Gracie and Allison, I mourn your lost lives. You never had a chance. My heart cries out for you. May the world mourn for you as well, along with the many millions that have gone before you. God help us if we don’t.


Peggy Bennett resides in Albert Lea. She is an elementary school teacher in the Albert Lea Area Schools and has enjoyed teaching children from Albert Lea and the surrounding areas for more than 30 years. Peggy is also a member of Grace Christian Church in Albert Lea, where she serves as director of Christian education and church elder.