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A civilized nation?

Published August 31. 2013 09:00AM

I read about two stories that completely broke my heart this past week.

One had a happy ending; the other did not.

In the first story, a child was born to a couple at a Christian missionary hospital in India over a year ago.

He was terribly disfigured and deformed and his parents outright refused to take him home and worse yet, members of the village where the parents resided called the hospital and threatened to poison the child if the parents brought him back with them.

The baby had no nose, eyelids or hands and his legs were fused together. He also had a severely disfigured face with no upper palate (which means he can't eat or speak) and required nasal re-construction as his nasal passages are open and exposed on his face.

A couple working at the hospital adopted the child and brought him back to the United States to raise as their own son.

The child, Adam, was scheduled to receive palate surgery on Aug. 23 so that he may eat and one day, speak and will eventually receive the other surgeries that he needs along with prosthetic hands and legs.

These adoptive parents recognized how precious every life is and opened up their hearts to love and care for a child who was considered to be not worthy of life, let alone love, from the parents of his birth.

Much closer to home in Northampton County, is the recent story of a woman who gave birth in the bathroom stall of her local bar and subsequently placed her newborn (and very much alive) son into a plastic bag and stuffed him inside of a toilet tank.

After that, she stepped outside for a smoke and then came back in to finish watching pay-per-view wrestling as she sat bleeding on the seat of the booth.

A custodian found the deceased baby while cleaning the bathroom the next day.

I just cannot understand any of this.

Maybe I can somewhat understand the plight of the couple in poverty-stricken India and I commend them for giving their child over to the Paulrajs; however, under Pennsylvania's Safe Haven law, the Northampton woman could have simply taken the child to a hospital and relinquished him to staff workers there without question or fear of prosecution (as long as the baby had not been harmed).

But for that woman to continue to enjoy her night out as if nothing ever happened, while the child was dying from suffocation in a public toilet is unthinkable and unconscionable.

We live in a "civilized" nation, but more and more it is has clearly become evident that our behavior is anything but civil.

I believe we have been sucked into a moral black hole.

Don't get me wrong, I am fully aware that the practice of infanticide has occurred on every continent throughout history and is still a common practice, (although strongly denied and particularly with baby girls) in many countries in the world.

Still, in this day and age in our so called "civilized" nation where multiple options exist for women who do not wish to keep their babies, this sort of thing should be unheard of.

Life is precious and all children should be viewed as a gift and deserve to be loved and to thrive.

I don't understand why it is so hard for people to get that.

For the Paulrajs, who adopted unwanted little Adam, you have taught the world a lesson on unconditional love, and no doubt you will reap a lifetime of blessings.

For the Northampton woman, I leave you with this quote from Mother Teresa:

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

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