Dumpster Babies

"They were high school sweethearts who had everything ahead of them," began the CBS correspondent. "Now, they're charged with murder in the death of their newborn son." The sweethearts were Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson, Jr., of Wyckoff, New Jersey. And their baby's murder illustrates the irrationality of defining right and wrong when we abandon standards of absolute truth. Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson checked into a motel room, where Miss Grossberg gave birth to a baby boy. The infant was later found in a motel Dumpster with his skull fractured. His parents now face murder charges, and prosecutors may seek the death penalty. But wait a minute. Didn't America just affirm the legality of partial-birth abortion, a procedure that kills babies after they've been four-fifths delivered? Just what was this young couple's crime? Their principal mistake appears to be one of timing. Instead of fracturing their baby's skull in the moments after birth, the couple should have paid an abortionist to fracture the baby's skull in the moments prior to birth. As the Washington Times explained, "if a child's skull is crushed while just inside the cervix, that is a legal abortion; if a child's skull is crushed a split second after passing through the cervix, that is capital murder. This may be a grisly moral absurdity," the Times wryly added, "but such is the state of the law." Seventeen years ago Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop predicted that this moral absurdity would have a deadly educational impact. In their book Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, Schaeffer and Koop wrote that the West German Supreme Court banned first-trimester abortions because the justices feared that "it would prove difficult to persuade people that second- and third-trimester fetuses deserve protection simply because they are a few weeks older." Schaeffer and Koop added, "the court apparently feared that what would happen to older fetuses could also happen to children after birth." Infanticide. The nightmare feared in West Germany has come true in America as more and more mothers apply abortion's deadly logic to their already-born children. The result is a whole generation of Dumpster babies. For example, in September an Alabama State University sophomore was charged with murder after throwing her newborn into a trash bin. In Brooklyn last summer Glenda Cruz murdered her baby and disposed of him in a garbage bag. And last June a Seattle woman gave birth in a McDonald's parking lot. Her baby was later found in a McDonald's Dumpster with a fractured skull. These mothers are living out the logic of a culture that has abandoned the Judeo-Christian worldview--one that teaches that all human life is precious because it is stamped with the image of God. The result--as we're now seeing--is moral confusion as desperate parents apply the deadly logic their culture has taught them. When you and I hear our neighbors discussing the Grossberg baby, we have to help them understand the real issue. When we trash moral absolutes, we end up with moral confusion. We end up with babies who are treated, not as godly treasures, but as human garbage, fit for the Dumpster.


Chuck Colson



  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary