COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 29, 2015—Colorado and the nation were shocked by the news of a horrific crime: Dynel Lane, 34, of Longmont, Colo., cut the fetus from the body of eight-months-pregnant Michelle Wilkins.
Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett announced on Friday that Lane would not be charged with murder in the resulting death of the baby girl.
Garnett, a Democrat, really had little option. Under Colorado law, the death of the baby is not a crime unless it is shown that the baby has breathed on its own. Lane’s husband told police that he saw the baby gasping for breath.
Lane was charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful termination of a pregnancy—all charges focused on the attack on Wilkins. She could face more than 100 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say Lane lured Michelle Wilkins to her home last week with a Craigslist ad for baby clothes and attacked her, cutting the baby girl from her belly. Wilkins, 26, survived and was released from a hospital Wednesday.
While 38 states have fetal homicide laws, Colorado does not. The latest attempt to pass such a law was Amendment 67 in the November 2014 election, which was defeated.
Pro-abortion activists demagoged the bill as a “personhood” amendment and told young women that it would somehow outlaw abortion and birth control.
Had the amendment passed, Lane could have been charged with murder. The debate about fetal homicide has been reopened.
The Democrat-controlled legislature killed a bill in the radical 2013 session, better known for its gun control laws. However, a bill was passed in 2013 creating the crime of unlawful termination of pregnancy. State Rep. Mike Foote, a Democrat and former Boulder prosecutor, contends that the bill effectively gives Colorado a fetal homicide law.
Lane was charged under that law but the charges focus on the mother, not the crime against the unborn child.
State Senate President Bill Cadman said Friday that Republicans would try again to get a fetal homicide passed.
“This was a child. A child was murdered,” he said. “That Coloradans have no way to hold the murderer responsible, or deliver justice for the victims, is a gap in Colorado’s justice system which can no longer be ignored.”
Colorado Springs Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt created some controversy when he said, on his syndicated religious radio show,
“I wonder if there is prophetic significance to America today in that scripture. This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb and part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open.”
His comments refer to Hosea 13:16 in which God curses the people of Samaria for their rebellion and declares that “their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.”
Citing Right Wing Watch as their source, the left-leaning Denver Post excoriated Klingenschmitt for his comment—although the story ignored the context and changed his question into a declaratory statement. The Post focused upon all of his fellow Republican legislators who vocally disagreed with his point of view.
Colorado Springs resident Whitney Galbraith wrote an open letter to Republican legislators asking what they were objecting to: “Is it his reference to ‘God,’ or the use of the word ‘sin’? Or is there some pre-ordained difficulty in your minds with the man himself and his loudly proclaimed religiosity?” he wrote.
Galbraith suggested that these legislators should have more in common with Klingenschmitt than not.
Yet theologically, perhaps most Christians would not agree with Klingenschmitt’s Old Testament view of God’s judgment on this country. Where sin is allowed to flourish, sin brings its own consequences. When we rebel against God and God’s laws, we bring the consequences on ourselves. Divine intervention is not needed.
This heinous crime had nothing to do with abortion—although the reason Colorado doesn’t have a punishment for the crime of fetal homicide is because of exaggerated claims by the left about abortion.
Their relentless striving for legalization of more ways to kill people—such as the assisted suicide bill introduced this year—is at odds with the Biblical view of the dignity and worth of every individual.
That’s a view of humanity enshrined in the founding documents of this country.
Klingenschmitt may have made his point rather inelegantly, but he’s on the right track. The issue is not about him but about how we treat murder. Fetal homicide is a crime worthy of punishment.
Shame on Coloradans if we don’t make it so.