When I read recently about the pair of young college students who allegedly gave birth, killed and dumped the body of their 7 1/2 pound newborn boy in the trash bin of a motel, I was amazed at my lack of shock. Disgust, yes. But I was not surprised.
From the picture of these “good kids” from an affluent neighborhood in New Jersey, they both embodied the pre-yuppie/preppie persona. I imagined her a cheerleader, him a quarterback. Probably voted most likely to succeed, right after winning king and queen of homecoming. Less than one year later, they are both accused of murder and may get the death penalty. I doubt it, but it’s a possibility. There are a lot of missing details that I’m sure we will find out in the weeks to come. Was the young man the father? Was he talked into this deed by his former sweetheart and expectant mother? Did he talk her into it? I’m sure the jury will work through these details. To me they are unimportant. Bigger questions plagued me.
Since Roe v Wade in 1973, abortion has been the most contested law since Jim Crow. The pre-Civil War court put the seal of approval on slavery and dehumanized blacks to the status of persona non-grata. They were legally made lower than pets. They were not made in the image of God. What I find interesting, and if it wasn’t so sad, laughable, the position of the National Organization for Women and other groups. Time and again they give the comparison between women and their struggle to have complete ownership of their bodies and the slavery issue. Somehow something gets lost in the translation. How a right to do what you want with your body supersedes the rights of a human life who is borrowing your space for nine or so months is beyond reason. Like the slave, the “fetus” is literally in a position that is beyond their choice. Its main goal is to survive. And of course, Roe v Wade and Jim Crow are nearly identical. At least in what the mothers’ or owners’ rights are in relation to the unborn children or slaves. That comparison seems to not be popular with those who concur that laws created by man, and change with the times, can decide who is human and who is not. A name comes to mind. Adolph something…
Thanks to Clinton’s veto on the ban of partial birth abortions, if Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson Jr. would have taken Amy to one of many doctors or hospitals, they would have been candidates for the “partial birth abortion.” George Will, in his column entitled “Cruel and unusual punishment,” states that minutes before the birth, this couple would have committed no crime, if they would have followed the guidelines of the law. I know in split-seconds poor decisions have resulted in jail time, prison time, and even the death penalty. This crime appears to be premeditated. Premeditated murders can result in capital punishment.
Should Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson Jr. be tried and convicted as murderers? I am a proponent of the death penalty and an advocate of the pro-life movement, so “yes” would normally be my position. But…because of the influence of the State and the present laws of the land, I cannot agree. I believe that this couple should plead innocent, and innocent because of insanity.
The insanity is not theirs; insanity is the law of the land.
Mark Stephen Clifton of San Diego is the author of a book published in 1993, There Goes The Neighborhood, published by Prescott Press.