This is one of those difficult stories, so disturbing and repulsive that you instinctively don’t want to read about it. Frankly, I don’t either. But the “culture of death” is real and from it flows evil that we must confront and grapple with as believers.
The police officers who responded to the 911 call last week in Longmont, Colorado, followed the blood trail down to the basement. They knew they were about to encounter a woman, seven months pregnant, who had been stabbed.
What they didn’t know was the victim, 26-year-old Michele Wilkins, was no longer carrying her baby.
The 34-week-old baby girl had been cut from her mother’s womb with a kitchen knife by a psychotic woman.
Despite being covered in blood from head to toe, Mrs. Wilkins was still alive. Officer Bill Sawyer says she “had no clue the baby wasn’t there. Part of the reason she was surviving was for that child. It was her maternal instincts to stay alive for that child.”
Tragically, the baby did not survive.
What will the charge against the attacker be?
The news of the horrifying incident has shocked the nation. People are understandably having a hard time processing the evil that caused this grisly act.
But what’s compounding this tragedy in the eyes of many is the suspect, Dynel Lane, might not be charged for murder.
Under Colorado law, a preborn child is not protected by the criminal laws of the state. While 38 states have laws on the books that would enable a homicide charge in a case like this, similar bills have been defeated in Colorado. A ballot initiative similarly failed, rejected by the state’s voters.
Members of the abortion lobby fought the legislation because they opposes any type of recognition of preborn life. They have to hold this absurd position because currently in Colorado abortion is legal through the ninth month of pregnancy.
Now faced with the senselessness of it all, there is a growing debate over fetal homicide laws in the state. Because they’ve been faced with the gruesome reality of this crime, most people are now demanding a murder charge.
But that’s something District Attorney Stanley Garnett calls a “difficult issue,” because the state first has to establish “the fetus lived as a child outside the body of the mother for some period of time” for murder charges to be brought.
This is the consequence of an inconsistent and morally confused legal system that fails to protect the most innocent among us.
Let’s look at the facts.
The life Wilkins carried in her womb was clearly a precious child. Even many news reports are referring to the victim as an “unborn baby.”
Longmont resident Maryann Zegarra, who is eight months pregnant, explains it this way:
“I feel every movement of my baby. Every hiccup. Every kick. It’s just sad to think that little baby girl was just kicking probably 15 minutes before her mom got to the door.”
Intrinsically, most people know Zegarra is right. After all, babies born at 34 weeks have a 99 percent chance of survival.
Yet this small victim might not have justice simply because she was still inside her mother’s womb when the attack happened.
Common sense tells us an innocent child died as a result of this senseless act of violence.
Above all, though, please join me in praying for Michele Wilkins and her family as she faces an incredibly long and heartbreaking journey without the baby girl they already loved.