The pills were supposed to kill her baby. Kalina Gillhum had ordered them from India and taken 12. She was in her third trimester, a dangerous time to try an at-home abortion. But Kalina and her boyfriend, Braden, had decided they didn’t want their son. So when he was born in their bathroom, alive and breathing despite the drugs, they let him die. When police found the baby’s body in a trash bag, tucked away in a shoebox, an Ohio prosecutor charged the couple with manslaughter. The question Princeton Professor Robbie George has for Democrats is: “Should they be?”
For liberals, the story out of Licking County couldn’t come at a more inopportune time. Senate Democrats had just spent the day defending infanticide in committee when this pair of 20-year-olds put a face on the horrific crime they call “choice.” If a local hospital hadn’t been suspicious of the couple, this baby — like the thousands of other abortion survivors — would have probably gone unreported. Only when a doctor noticed Kalina’s overly large umbilical cord, with no child attached, did they realize something was horribly wrong. It was far too big, the police were told, “for it not to be a full-term infant.”
A search of the apartment found what nurses and eyewitnesses say happen every day: a born baby, treated like common waste. The only difference is, this newborn was left to die home — not at a hospital or abortion clinic, where Democrats argue he’s fair game. Apparently, if it’s do-it-yourself infanticide, it’s murder. But if a doctor does it, 44 senators say, it’s “health care.”
It’s an absolutely shocking position for anyone to take, let alone four dozen leaders in the U.S. Senate. And yet, for whatever reason, these men and women refuse to acknowledge that at its very core, protecting born-alive babies has nothing to do with abortion. “This is not about a woman’s body,” FRC’s Patrina Mosley, one of the expert witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing, argued. “This is about the infant who’s become the patient.” Eighteen years ago, this was a no-brainer for both parties. “We’re about a living, breathing infant who survived one of the most violent acts you can undergo — abortion — defied the odds and survived. Shouldn’t they be given a chance to defy the odds again and receive medical care? You would think that would be bipartisan.”
Of course, Democrats rushed to their familiar talking points: we don’t need a born-alive law because we already have homicide laws on the books. (A lie, since 35 states and the federal government don’t have adequate protections for babies who live through a botched abortion.) This is just another attack on reproductive rights, others cried. But, as Patrina and so many conservatives fired back, this doesn’t have anything to do with abortion! “We’re just saying don’t discriminate against infants who are born as a result of a failed one.”
In all honesty, Patrina said, “there is no good reason for obstructing care to infants born alive from abortion, except for two reasons. One, that you buy into the philosophy of eugenics, meaning [you believe in targeting] the disabled, the minorities, and the poor. You think these children should not have been born at all, so why not kill them? Or, you have something to gain financially from the illegal harvesting of fetal parts that we know has been taking place for years now and [thanks to video] captured by the Center for Medical Progress.”
As Senator Marsha Blackburn pointed out on “Washington Watch,” under any other circumstance, a newborn in distress “would be rushed to the hospital and given neonatal care… But [Democratic leaders] think this… should be a mother’s choice. But they don’t stop and think about it… [T]hey’re saying it’s okay for a woman to decide if she wants to keep that baby or kill that baby. But they try to change the language and nuance this so that it doesn’t sound quite that barbaric.” But barbaric is exactly what this is. And no civil society — least of all ours — should tolerate it.
Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.
EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.