Dead Babies

 I have a fish tank with a breeding pair of Cichlids called Convicts. They are the rabbits of the aquarium world spawning as many as 100 fry from a single laying of eggs. I’ve tried selling them, giving them away, giving them to pet stores, but in the end, I have no way to keep them or save them. So I let them be eaten by larger fish or I simply remove them from the water and let them drown in the open air.

 There is a canal that runs through the center of Juarez Mexico that is notorious as a dumping place for unwanted babies. In the 60s a local charity group funded the dredging of the canal to remove dead babies and provide for Christian burial. They found so many bodies in the first 100 yards that they were forced to abandon the project. Children, like so many fish, drowned because there is no place for them.

 We are told by well meaning moralists that every human life is precious and we are obligated as a society to protect the human fetus from the moment of conception. But the evidence suggests something very different; human life less than precious.

Between 20 and 30 children typically die every year in child-abuse homicides in Arizona. The children die of starvation, drug overdose, beatings and negligence, according to articles published in the Republic. Nearly 5,000 families in Maricopa County alone lost custody of their children because of abuse or neglect.  There are more than 12,000 children currently in foster care.  More than half of Maricopa County children in state custody are younger than 5 years old.

And what of those that survive bad parents, foster care and other child protective services? There are more than 50,000 youths on the books of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections. There are 350 youths incarcerated in one of Arizona’s five high-security juvenile detention facilities.

Those among us whose self-righteous ideological obsession dwells on the aborted fetus are blind to the dead babies all around us. It is in our best interest as a community to not only sponsor, but to promote freely distributed contraceptive products. We should be supporting Planned Parenthood, not trying to defund it.  We should be building safe abortion clinics and underwriting safe abortions for the poor and self-described bad parents.  Then maybe we could shrink Child Protective Services, close a few of our prisons, have safer streets, and bury fewer dead babies.

Gene Ziegler  


Freakonomics: Abortion and crime: who should you believe?
Arizona Republic: Violence kills at least a dozen Arizona children in 2012
Arizona Republic: Arizona child welfare: When parental care turns deadly