The Peremptory Definition of a Child

It’s a delicate story, but beyond the strength of Matthew Milliner’s witness is a telling anecdote. Milliner’s unborn child has died in the womb:

The next day our doctor called in a rushed tone, and said something must quickly be done. We were to go to our local “Women’s Center” for a procedure. This did not appeal to me, but my wife was in danger. I called the clinic.
“I need the remains of this child to be treated with respect,” I said. “We’ve never had that request before,” the receptionist replied. “Let me check with my supervisor.” After a wait, the receptionist returned with the news that this would not be possible, as “it” was “medical waste.”

Through a family connection, Milliner and his wife found a clinic that treated the “it” as what they believed it to be (what it was): their child. In a democratic society, such belief is a manifest threat to an industry that reaps its revenue in millions of tiny corpses. Try as we might, public policy will not rest on absolute relativism when it comes to life and death.

My wife held our baby, a tiny pietà. We both mourned and prayed.
The nurses took the footprints of tiny feet. They even dressed Clement in an outfit and took a picture, wrote out a birth card. The undertaker came and handled the body with a reverence of movement that ministered more than ten chaplains’ prayers. We buried him in a family plot, where we told the story of how his life began. He has parents and grandparents who love him; nurses and an undertaker who cared for him in his short life.

Either this is absurd sentimentality or just and appropriate acceptance of and mourning for a life lost. A being worthy of the latter has an innate right not to be killed intentionally, especially for little cause.

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Tabetha
Tabetha
12 years ago

It seems woefully unfair to deny the right to closure to grieving parents. I can understand why some might not want the remains – it may be too painful. But why deny those that do? People who suffer miscarriages usually feel a deep sense of loss. I think that this is actually something that is overlooked too often in the abortion debate. Many women who have abortions have deep feelings of loss and depression afterwards. Those who oppose informed consent and a waiting period do not seem to want to give women a chance to seriously think over their decision first. Some women may not realize how far along a baby is developed by the time you typically figure out that you are pregnant. I think trying to ignore the concept of loss and grieving to give more weight to an argument in favor of abortion is disingenuous and clearly slanted. I am glad this couple was able to push to have their closure. This was about a grieving family, not a political debate, and ignoring the human element forces people in tough situations to become unwitting pawns in an often volatile political battle.

bobc
bobc
12 years ago

Wow Tabetha, I could not have saide it any better.

Roland
Roland
12 years ago

Tabetha nailed it.
My mother miscarried was back in 1953 and she still wonders what that child might have become and how that child might have lived.
How can ANYONE treat any living person in the womb as an ‘it’ and qualifying as medical waste?
Do we all recall the story from six months ago where a young girl went into the clinic for an abortion only to deliver a premee on the floor. The ‘it’ was allowed to die on the floor before it could be handled as ‘medical waste’.
Way to go you morally deprived America. You don’t even have to be religious to realize this is just plain wrong.

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