Guilty! Prosecutors Link Abortion to Infanticide
Pro-life leaders have always said legalized abortion devalues life and paves the way to infanticide — a view verified by a recent tragedy and upheld in a court of law.
First, the tragedy: A young mother has been convicted of delivering twin babies in her home and letting them die of neglect. Maya Caston, then 25 of St. Louis, gave birth while sitting on her toilet on January 6, 2020. Caston then wrapped her newborns’ mouths and noses in a towel and did not wash or feed them for two days. (She testified that she tried to feed the children but, when they refused to take a bottle, she took no further action.) When they died two days later, she called the police to say she had given birth to two stillborn children, a boy and a girl. Officers soon realized the infants had not died from a miscarriage.
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office initially charged Caston with two counts of second-degree murder and child abuse. Last Friday, a jury found her guilty of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.
Now, the remarkable legal admission: The court directly tied her double infanticide to legal abortion. The district attorney’s office highlighted how, in the months before she gave birth, Caston searched the internet for such terms as “cheap abortion pills,” “free abortion clinic,” and “can you cause a miscarriage if you hit yourself in the stomach hard enough?” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, “Prosecutors argued that Caston’s extensive internet searches for miscarriages and abortion methods in the months before she gave birth, her initial lie to police and her lack of action to get care for the twins proved she caused the deaths.” Within hours of her children’s birth, she searched tips about burying them in her yard.
Jurors also dismissed claims that Caston, who is cognitively delayed, lacked the ability to understand her actions were wrong. (Defense attorneys had submitted an IQ test placing her in the bottom one percentile of intelligence.) “It’s a sad situation, but it’s still murder,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Dittmeier in his closing argument.
Caston’s shocking actions cut to the heart of the matter in a way only possible for the truly simple. She intuitively understood and applied the messages sent by American culture and laws, only to be punished for exposing the tragedy that lies at the heart of those institutions.
Infanticide Mirrors Abortion
The only criteria separating abortion from infanticide is timing — and, for now, legality. If an unborn child is a “parasite” with no right to demand that her mother assures her survival, why should she have any claim on her mother’s “autonomy” after her birth?
Desperately clinging to DIY chemical abortion, the abortion industry and its political allies ask women to administer their own abortions at home. Caston took that to its logical conclusion and did not pay the abortionists for miscarriage-inducing pills.
Even the location of her infanticide mirrored the advice of abortionists such as Carmen Landau. She told an undercover Live Action employee seeking to abort a viable, 27-week-old unborn baby that, if she feels she’s going to give birth before the late-term abortion is completed, she should “sit on the toilet.”
“If it comes out, then it comes out. Flush it,” an employee of a New York City abortion facility, Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center in the Bronx, told Live Action during another late-term abortion sting. If the child were born alive inside the abortion facility, she explained, the abortionist would “put it in a container — like, a jar — with solution and send it to the lab.”
What would happen, the mother asked, if the newborn is breathing or moving after the abortion? “The solution will make it stop,” the abortion industry employer responded. “That’s the whole purpose of the solution.”
… And that’s the whole purpose of the towel. Legal abortion apparently allows newborns to die; Caston merely cut out the middleman. The Democratic Party platform demands taxpayer-funded abortion until birth; Caston simply extended those parameters by 48 hours.
Caston’s conviction serves as an indictment against much of our political class. When the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act came before the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, all but one Democrat voted against punishing abortionists who would treat newborn babies the same way Caston did. At least one Democrat introduced a bill that would have effectively decriminalized Caston’s actions. An alleged “oversight” in a California’s Assembly Bill 2223, introduced by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D), banned police from investigating any “perinatal death” that took place anywhere from a few days, up to 30 or “60 days following delivery.”
Caston’s heartbreaking experience should cause Christians to reflect deeply on the Bible’s neglected teachings about the role our laws play in shaping our national character.
The Law Is Our Teacher, For Better or Worse
Political philosophers have long cited the didactic and catechetical aspects of the law in shaping and forming the consciences — and behavior — of citizens. Aristotle wrote, “It is difficult for one to be guided rightly towards virtue from an early age unless he is brought up under such laws. … [T]he nurture and pursuits of the young should be regulated by laws, for when they become habitual they are not painful.” Government does more than regulate the commercial interactions of atomized individuals. “The state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern” of commerce, said Edmund Burke. It is, instead, “a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection … linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the visible and invisible world.”
Burke’s oration echoed biblical injunctions. Earthly laws should punish evil and reward those who do well (Romans 13:3). In the process, they teach us right from wrong. The Apostle Paul tells us even the Old Testament law acted as “our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Galatians 3:24). When unjust laws reign, they teach citizens to call good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20) ... and they bring us to the Antichrist. In the process, consciences become degraded, morality becomes warped, and society fills with the blood of the innocent. Wicked laws inflict the deepest wounds on those who, like Caston, most rely on society’s cues to lighten their darkness. “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23.)
American society taught that life, made in the image of God, deserves no more dignified treatment than a bowel movement; that DIY abortions are the path to liberation; and that an infant’s life begins “when the mother thinks it begins.” Then it punished Maya Caston for taking that message to heart and holding up a mirror to the culture of death. The abortion-political complex shows no signs of mitigating its rhetoric, or its actions. Heartrending stories like Caston’s will continue until America learns to apply Dittmeier’s summation to every abortion: “It’s a sad situation, but it’s still murder.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.