November 23, 2004

Remember when they said we had no future? Well this is it

A horrifying story out of Michigan last week.

It was an unwanted pregnancy, police said.

And for several weeks, her 16-year-old boyfriend struck her in the belly with a baseball bat in an effort to terminate her pregnancy, police said.

In October, the 16-year-old girl had a miscarriage... Afterward, the teens wrapped the fetus in plastic and buried it in an open field.

What would drive kids to such an act? Maybe, just maybe, the fact that the state has done all it can to leave them with no other options.

A recent NARAL survey found that Michigan ranks 44th in the nation for reproductive rights, with an F-grade for anti-abortion laws that include gag orders, restrictive waiting periods, and punitive "informed consent" rules -- all in a state where 83% of counties have no abortion clinics anyway.

I read this story with a sinking feeling that we'll be hearing a lot like it in the coming years -- and, worse, not hearing even more. But, hey, it's Mifepristone that's unsafe, not wailing on your girlfriend with a Louisville Slugger.

But as I read on it became even worse. Apparently, the question this story raises for Michigan is not, "How have we so failed our children that they've been reduced to such self-destructive brutality," but rather, "Can we charge them with a crime?"

There is no law in Michigan that specifies when terminating a pregnancy is equivalent to killing a baby. But Smith said case law indicates that the fetus must be able to survive outside of the womb for manslaughter charges to be considered.... The teen mother was visiting friends recently in the Upper Peninsula when she told them about the fetus. The friends then went to police.

What are friends for?

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Let me just say that I am way, WAY pro-choice. However, I can't buy "no other options" than a baseball bat to the stomach. There had to something pretty F*cked up between these two for them to resort to ...that.

Again: pro-choice all the way. Truly. But I don't think defending choice by suggesting that such brutality becomes the norm--if restrictions are placed on abortion for teens--makes sense.

With that said, I find it really weird that MI has so few clinics. That can't be good.

So it's great if the girl goes to the clinic for a high-tech dilation and vacuuming, but not okay to do her business at home?

Seems like a baby is dead either way, doesn't it?

Also, you'll note that the parents did find out about the pregnancy in any case. As they helped bury the unborn child.

I guess I fail to see what point is trying to be made.

Abortion is legal throughout Michigan . . .

Lexine -- well of course I believe in personal responsiblity. Obviously people always have other options. He could have shot her, for instance. What I meant, of course, is that they FELT they had no other options, because they had few good ones.

Bunnie -- Thanks for confirming everyone's worst stereotypes of pro-lifers, who with their obsession about fetuses always seem to forget that there are LIVING WOMEN involved here too. The reason a D&E is better than being hit by a bat (I can't believe I have to spell this out) is that the D&E is safe and effective, while the bat method is neither. Would you feel better protecting the life of the unborn child if it meant that 16 year old girls have to occassionally be maimed or killed?

And yes, abortion is legal throughout Michigan -- but my point is that that's increasingly becoming a technicality.

Oh, there are living women involved in abortion? Wow, I had no idea.


You're being histrionic.

And either way, a baby dies. And regardless of the politics of it all, a woman carries with her the pain and regret of a horrible period of time.

Or at least all of my friends who've had 'safe, legal abortions' do.

Like my one friend who spent a great deal of time this Thanksgiving talking about how her child would have been 9 if the baby had not been aborted. She's vigorously pro-choice. But she has lots of nightmares about what happened.

Maybe if we as a society spent more time thinking about how to avoid this horrible specter of young girls feeling they must take a bat (or D&C) to their womb instead of crying hysterically about how George Bush is going to make abortion illegal through some elaborate Michigan conspiracy we would be doing better.

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