The story has not received much attention yet. But the Coeur d’Alene Press reported this week that a woman was arrested for the killing of her newborn baby boy after giving birth on April 14th.
Police allege that she strangled her baby, after birthing him in the bathroom. Then she cut him open with a box cutter. Then she placed him in a garbage bag, placing him on the back porch of her Rathdrum home. Elizabeth Keyes has been arrested on first degree murder charges and sits in a Kootenai County jail cell under a $1 million bond. She is just 22 years old.
The case is horrible in isolation. But in the context of our continued brutality toward preborn children, it once again highlights the schizophrenia of our current legal/social system.
Let’s be clear about this much: The woman had options if the prospect of nurturing this new life was too much for her to bear. We helped enact a law many years ago which allows for women in such circumstances to bring that newborn to a hospital emergency room, or even a fire station. No questions asked. They can simply leave the baby.
Then there is the more civilized notion of caring for the baby and giving it up for adoption to one of the many couples in Idaho desperately seeking a child to bring into their family.
This woman, allegedly, chose neither of those paths. Instead, she acted out of fear and loathing for this new life – a message and value system she has been pummeled with her entire life. The baby is nothing more than tissue. Its very existence a violation of her “rights”; a threat to her value as a woman. Lie after horrible lie, told by the most authoritative voices in our society. Major newspapers, college professors, the highest medical and legal authorities have actively propagated contempt for the preborn child. The propaganda is so pervasive that one must ask: Do we not all bear some moral responsibility for, some complicity in, this woman’s crime?
The state is, correctly, moving forcefully to seek justice for the horrible crime against that innocent baby boy – a boy that will not even have the dignity of receiving a name. Yet we cannot help but see the frailty of the state’s position: We all know she could have legally disposed of that very same baby only hours before in a Planned Parenthood facility. No questions asked. How can our legal system stand upon such a flimsy distinction as two hours’ time? On one side of the clock, the new life is a disposable problem, unrecognized by the Law. Just a few turns of a clock’s hands later, his brutal death becomes first degree murder. Perhaps Ms. Keyes is pondering those same questions. You can bet her defense lawyers will be exploiting those legal absurdities as the case moves forward.