Dynel Lane, the Media and a Contradiction of Terms

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Almost a year ago, a tragedy happened here in Longmont: a pregnant woman responded to a Craigslist ad for free baby clothes, only to be attacked and to have her baby cut from her womb and abducted.

The baby did not survive, and the assailant, Dynel Lane is currently on trial this week in the Boulder District Court, however she is not being charged with murder, but with suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and child abuse knowingly and recklessly resulting in death and unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

Colorado law does not count the death of an unborn child as murder, only if the child lived outside of the womb for some time. The issue in this case is that it’s not possible to prove how long the child lived outside of the womb – so Colorado’s wording of the law will not allow a murder charge in this case, even though wrongful death is obvious.

Dynel Lane has pleaded not guilty to these charges and has come back saying that it was Michelle Wilkins who attacked and tried to stab her, and that she was only trying to defend herself, and the reason she cut the baby out of Michelle’s womb was because she thought Michelle was dead and was trying to save the baby. This however, gives no explanation for why Dynel Lane told medical personal at Longmont United Hospital that the baby was hers, until they realized that she hadn’t given birth and the baby couldn’t be hers.

You can read Dynel Lane’s testimony here.

Today closing arguments are being presented by both sides.

This case presents a conundrum, not only for the wording of the law, but for the media in telling the story.  As one friend pointed out: The Denver Post reported that Dynel Lane “…cut out Wilkins’ fetus before taking the baby to Longmont United Hospital…”

Did you catch that?  She cut out a “fetus” and then took the “baby” to Longmont United Hospital.

It’s a very careful choosing of words which reflects a fundamental belief: that unborn children are not actually children.

The word they’ve coined to help create this false dichotomy – which this case so painfully exposes – is “fetus.” What’s ironic, is that this is based on a failure to grasp the fact that the word fetus is simply Latin for “young person.”

Fetus is Latin for “young person”

Did you catch that?  Young PERSON.    Not “young mass of tissue, akin more to cancer than to a human being.”

This case presents a conundrum for lawmakers and the media, because it shows that a fetus and a baby are not two separate things. Everyone knows that what this woman did was wrong, because she killed a baby… But if we stick with strictly considering the unborn unhuman, then why is this crime so heinous?

Is a baby only a baby if its mother wants it?   Clearly the answer is no.

I will be interested to see what happens in this case. Hoping for justice for Dynel Lane’s crime and mercy for her soul.

 

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#SB50 and #Antichoice Doritos Ad

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This past weekend I watched as my Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50. The last time the Broncos won the Super Bowl I was in high school. They won with their incredible defense, which throughout the year was exciting to watch, especially in the playoffs.

On Tuesday I took my son out of school and went down to Civic Center Park in Denver for the Broncos victory parade. I remember going with my dad to the parade back in 1998, the first time the Broncos won the Super Bowl, now I was taking my kids – it was a cool moment.

Apparently my son was one of an estimated 25,000 students who skipped school to attend the parade. My dad works for the Denver Mint, which is directly behind the City and County Building, where the parade ended and the speeches were given, and he was given liberal leave, not only so that employees could attend the parade, but also because it would have been nearly impossible to even get to the Mint for work.

Authorities verified that over 1 million people attended the parade – and it certainly felt like it. I remember the parade back in ’98, and standing in Civic Center Park, not too far from the stage in the crowd of 650,000. This time the crowd was so much bigger, it was uncomfortable. People packed into the park to the point where there wasn’t even an inch to move.

My wife’s favorite thing about the Super Bowl is that it means that NFL season is finally over and no more will Sundays revolve around Broncos games. For the Super Bowl she decided to give in and wear team colors, so she put on a blue shirt – only to realize she put on Carolina sky blue. Needless to say, we asked her to be the one to take the group photo…

Like many people, Rosemary’s favorite part of the Super Bowl was Coldplay and the commercials. One of our favorite commercials was this Doritos one about an ultrasound:

Kinda creepy, but no creepier than PuppyMonkeyBaby.

I was surprised to see that NARAL, an abortion advocacy group, took issue with the ad, claiming that it was “antichoice” (I didn’t even know that was a word…)

The problem? The ad “humanized” unborn children (whom they refuse to call children…)

What’s next? Will they begin advocating against ultrasounds? Because as ultrasound technology has advanced, we have only found more and more reason to consider yet unborn children fully human: as one spokesperson said:

“If NARAL is scandalized by the notion that a human fetus is human, then they are scandalized by science. We know children in the womb have distinct and human DNA. We also know that they exhibit all sorts of human behaviors in the womb such as yawning, thumb-sucking, and even dancing thanks to tremendous advances in ultrasound technology.

But groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood rely on a denial of these scientific realities better suited to the Dark Ages to maintain their rabid insistence that those unborn babies are undeserving of basic human rights.”  – Ashley McGuire of The Catholic Foundation

For the most part, I think NARAL is shouting into the wind. Trying to take away a person’s humanity is a long-used method for justifying or coping with doing something wrong to another person.

That being said, I highly doubt Doritos was trying to make a political statement. For NARAL, fetal behavior which reflects their humanness is an inconvenient fact – but a fact nonetheless.