When Babies Deserve Rights
By Scott Editor | Scott's Archive
March 21, 2004

On January 2nd of this year, 28-year-old Melissa Ann Rowland was ordered by her doctor at a Salt Lake City hospital to have an emergency C-section in order to save the life of one of the twin babies she was carrying. Rowland refused because she didn't want the "scar," but eleven days later she consented. It was too late; one of the babies was born dead.

An autopsy showed that had the C-section been performed when the doctor ordered it, the child would have been born alive. Prosecutors have now charged Rowland with first-degree murder for exhibiting "depraved indifference to human life," according to court documents. She is currently being held in a Salt Lake City jail on $300,000 bail.

Should Roland be charged with a crime as serious as first-degree murder? Liberal organization NOW, the National Organization for Women, is speaking out against the charge. "The prosecution of Melissa Ann Rowland is appalling for so many reasons, I hardly know where to begin," says NOW President Kim Gandy.

Well we'll start by looking at Ms. Rowland's history. It's no question that she's a depraved individual. The surviving twin, a female, suffered respiratory distress at birth and tested positive for cocaine and alcohol. She is now adopted.

Prosecutors are looking into the drugs present in Rowland's body during the pregnancy to see if they can bolster their case by arguing that the drugs were partly responsible for the child's death. Said Kent Morgan, spokesman for the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office: "If we don't stand up for this baby, who will? And politics be damned!" They have also filed second-degree felony charges for child endangerment in connection with the surviving girl, although they have since been dropped to focus on the first-degree charge.

This isn't the only time Ms. Rowland caused great harm to one of her children. A few years ago, she punched her 2-year-old daughter in the face for taking and eating candy bar in a grocery store. Witnesses told police that Rowland then dragged the child from the store, slapping her several times before throwing the toddler into a car through an open window. When police arrived, Rowland also slammed the child on the car's trunk, causing her to hit her head. How lovely. Pennsylvania social services placed the child in foster care.

Clearly Ms. Rowland should never be allowed custody of any child, but that hasn't stopped interest groups such as NOW from pleading for this drug abuser's "rights." Groups like NOW ignore the rights of babies because: "Our legal system recognizes every person's right to bodily integrity and the right to make your own medical decisions."

Uh-huh. And by right to "your own medical decisions" Kim Gandy isn't bothered by the fact that Rowland boozed up and ingested cocaine during her pregnancy because after all, it's her right. But what about the child's "bodily integrity" rights? Where is the protection for the defenseless babies exposed to the reckless lifestyle of their decadent parents?

Believe it or not, most Americans want protections for defenseless children. Last December Congress (both parties) overwhelmingly passed a ban on partial birth abortion. The Senate vote, 64-34, came just three weeks after the House passed the bill by a 281-142 margin. Of course there will be constitutional challenges, and liberal activist judges will try to rewrite the law to how they see fit, but now we can go after anyone who obstructs what is now the law of the land.

As for my opinion of the first-degree murder charge…well, let's backup. I wholeheartedly supported the second-degree felony charge of child endangerment. The fact that a infant had alcohol and cocaine in her urine is sickening. NOW doesn't see it like that. They believe a woman can do whatever she wants during her pregnancy because it's her "right." But it looks like Rowland will now only face the one first-degree murder charge.

Admittedly, I hesitated on the first-degree murder issue when I first read the case. But then I look at the infant girl, who because of her disgraceful child-abuser of a mother, will never meet her brother who died before he was born. She will never know the special joy and the one-of-a-kind connection that only twins feel. Because of Ms. Rowland's recklessness, a child was deprived of life. She murdered her son.

Rowland faces five years to life in prison if convicted. And every year she spends behind bars will be a year that will keep her from abusing children and a year she won't be able to give birth to a drunk child on a cocaine trip. Will anyone besides the people at NOW miss her while she's gone?

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