I was listening to the BreakPoint podcast today and they told the story of an Oregon couple who was just sentenced to six years in prison for the death of their daughter, Ginnifer.
The baby was prematurely born at 32 weeks and died several hours later of complications which were treatable. The parents are members of a Pentecostal church that relies on praying and faith healing and did not seek medical attention.
This is truly tragic. This little girl should be alive today. The parents were rightly prosecuted and that they acted immorally and inappropriately.
In the BreakPoint commentary, John Stonestreet sums up the frustration well:
Now let me be clear, the Mitchells were rightly prosecuted for allowing their baby girl to die, even though they prayed for her to live. But had they wanted to kill Ginnifer, they could have driven to the nearest abortion clinic an hour before her birth—and get this—the state of Oregon would have paid for it.
This is the issue. Ginnifer was born March 5, 2017. Her parents could have had her aborted earlier in that day. As Stonestreet points out, it would have been paid for by the state and would have been perfectly legal.
Why do babies so often have no rights until they’re born?
The hypocrisy and irrationality of these standards carries over into states that have feticide laws (laws in regards to legal recourse when a person’s actions result in the death of a fetus). 38 states recognize situations where a fetus is killed as homicide (unless it’s aborted and then it’s legally allowed).
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.