The state of Colorado will not bring a murder charge against a woman accused of cutting a baby from her mother’s womb. In a statement, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila urged people to press elected officials for a change to the state’s law, which does not recognize an unborn child as a person.
Dynel Lane is accused of attacking Michelle Wilkins when Wilkins came to Lane’s home March 18 in answer to an advertisement for baby clothes posted through the popular online site Craigslist. Lane allegedly stabbed Wilkins, who was seven months pregnant, cutting the baby from her womb. The child died. Wilkins managed to survive her injuries.
Archbishop Aquila’s statement noted that Wilkins planned to name her little girl Aurora. He lamented the announcement Friday from Boulder County District Attorney Stanley Garnett that there would not be a murder charge.
"Many cannot understand how such a situation could be possible in Colorado. People from around the country and here in Colorado hear and read about this tragedy and cannot comprehend why Ms. Lane would not be charged for the murder of baby Aurora. The answer is just as inadequate as the Colorado law. Colorado law sadly does not recognize the unborn child as a person capable of having a crime, such as homicide, perpetrated against it," the archbishop said.
He added, "The vast majority of Coloradans believe, as I do, that when the unborn child of a pregnant woman is murdered, as baby Aurora was, a homicide has been committed."
Citing Pope St. John Paul II, Archbishop Aquila affirmed, "There can be no true democracy without a recognition of every person’s dignity and without respect for his or her rights. Nor can there be true peace unless life is defended and promoted."
"The laws of Colorado should reflect this reality and it is up to each one of us to call upon our elected officials to enact laws that recognize the fact that the unborn can in fact be victims of horrendous crimes such as homicide."
Archbishop Aquila noted his concern for Wilkins, saying he "cannot imagine the horrific loss Michelle and her family is suffering."
"My heart is filled with sorrow for them for they looked forward to the birth of their child with joy and anticipation," he said. "And Colorado law tells them it was not murder, no crime was committed against the child. I call on all people of good will to keep Michelle and her family in prayer. I pray that God’s comfort will fill the hearts of Michelle and her family as they mourn the loss of Aurora and that the inadequate law of Colorado will change."