The Province’s headline dated Tuesday, February 9 grips me and demands a response. The story tells of a 20-year-old unmarried woman who delivered a full-term baby boy in her boyfriend’s bathroom as he slept on the couch. When the boyfriend woke, she told him that she’d miscarried. They wrapped the baby’s body in a towel, put him in a garbage bag, and then tossed him in a nearby dumpster.
Two weeks later, a tipster phoned police who launched a three-day search for the baby’s remains. Dozens of officers sifted through 10-meter-deep trash at a landfill until they discovered the wee body. An autopsy will determine the infant’s cause of death.
A police spokeswoman said, “Whether or not the baby was alive, it’s an unimaginable act by a mother.” A psychiatrist at B.C. Women’s Hospital said that neonaticide (the killing of a baby within its first 24 hours) is “usually a young mom who acts out of fear of rejection, of some sort of disapproval from others. Usually this woman is immature and has poor problem-solving skills. She hides herself giving birth and she panics.”
I read this story and knew I had to respond or I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. Here are two thoughts in regard to this tragedy:
* Today’s society teaches that babies in the womb are merely blobs of tissue, not living beings. It argues that mothers have the right to determine whether or not their babies live or die prior to birth, and in fact, up to birth (ie: partial birth abortions). Who or what, then, determines the invisible line between a mother exercising her rights and a mother who suddenly faces criminal charges for taking her infant’s life? And who decides when the baby ceases to be called “it” and becomes “he,” as the police spokeswoman referred to him?
I find this report ironic, in a way. If society teaches young men and women that human life is disposable, why is it shocked when a young mom throws away her newborn? Police are recommending charges of “offering an indignity to a dead body.” Please explain how tossing this infant’s remains in a public dumpster differ from the indignity of disposing of an aborted child in a hospital dumpster.
Something inside me protests at the inconsistency and insanity of it all. Where will it end?
* The psychiatrist says that neonaticide is usually caused by the fear of rejection, “of some sort of disapproval from others.” Interesting observation…and totally true. Unfortunately, this fear affects more than just the immature and those with poor problem-solving skills.
The fear of rejection impacts women of all ages and from all walks of life – business professionals, homemakers, singles and marrieds. It causes 250,000 evangelical Christian women each year to abort their babies to avoid being gossiped about within their own congregations. It’s the force that causes women from all faiths or non-faiths to hide their failures, wear plastic smiles, and cover grief and shame with a mask. The fear of rejection labels transparency as a threat rather than a tool to help the healing process.
As I travel and speak to women’s groups, I see the results of the fear of rejection over and over again. I’m so sick of its vice-like grip on women’s hearts. And I’m sick of its source. Satan has one mandate – he’s out to steal, kill, and to destroy. And fear is one of his major tactics to see that mandate fulfilled. This newspaper story adds one more tally mark on his endless victim list. Enough is enough, don’t you think?
This post is long enough for today, but I’m not finished yet. One of my goals for this blog is to take readers deeper in their faith, and that’s what I intend to do. Join me on Friday’s post as I address the only way to rise above the fear of rejection. And please feel free to post your thoughts about this subject.