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Baby Pictures

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To the editors:

I was one of the 27 pro-life activists who took part in the demonstration at Ditka's restaurant on Saturday, November 11. I would like to respond to some of the questions that came up in the article "Demonstration at Ditka's" [Our Town, November 17].

The term "aborted fetus," which Achy Obejas used in her article to describe a baby that has been killed by abortion, is not only incorrect, but it dehumanizes a child that died a brutal and horrible death. The word fetus, derived from Latin, is defined as an unborn child or little one in the womb. The word connotes the location of the unborn baby. Once the unborn child is either born alive or aborted, he or she is no longer a fetus but a baby.

An unnamed woman in the article questions where we "get these pictures" of the aborted babies and "what doctor, what scientist, allows these kinds of pictures to be taken?"

I was present on February 28, 1987, when the body of the dismembered baby shown in one of our poster-size photos was retrieved from a trash dumpster behind the Michigan Avenue Medical Center at 30 S. Michigan Avenue. I was also present later that evening when the aborted baby was photographed in Joe Scheidler's garage. The Michigan Avenue Medical Center claims to do abortions only up to the 16th week of gestation. A pathologist from Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital later determined the baby's gestational age to be 20 weeks. This baby, along with over 500 others retrieved from behind 30 S. Michigan Avenue, was given a Christian burial at St. Mary's Cemetery in Evergreen Park by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The other blown-up photo that Ms. Obejas described as "a separated head, blood dripping from it into a jar" was taken of an aborted baby determined to be seven months gestational age. This baby was found in 1987 in a plastic trash bag outside the Cullen Women's Center, now defunct, in Houston. I would like to ask the unnamed woman, what doctor, what scientist, would do this to a fellow human being?

As to her question about pro-lifers "breaking some sort of confidentiality law" by showing these pictures, the mothers of the children pictured in the photos didn't want the babies. That's why they ended up dead and thrown in the trash. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that anything set out in the garbage is considered just that, and anyone, including the garbage man, is welcome to it. Unfortunately, they didn't make an exception when it came to dead children.

Timothy Murphy

Field Director

Pro-Life Action League

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