Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Barbarism at the Prom

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Barbarism at the Prom

Article excerpt

According to a friend, 18-year-old Melissa Drexler paused in front of the mirror in the bathroom to touch up her makeup before rejoining her date on the dance floor at the prom. She had just tossed her 6-pound, 6-ounce baby boy into a trash bin next to the bloodstained stall in the restroom where she had given birth.

"She seemed to be enjoying herself," said a classmate about Drexler's postpartum dancing.

Medical examiners determined that the baby was alive during the birthing process, which occurred early in the prom. The infant was found by a maintenance worker. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. Believe it or not, much may depend on whether it can be determined that the baby died before the umbilical cord was cut. Or whether the air sacs in his lungs inflated, indicating that he breathed, however briefly, independent of his mother. Drexler may be charged with something. Maybe murder. Maybe endangering a child. (Maybe conducting a partial-birth abortion at a prom without a license?) Who taught Ms. Drexler to think, or not think, in a way that caused her to regard her newborn baby as disposable trash? Many people and things, no doubt. She may have come from a less-than-attentive home environment. A prosecutor says the family did not know she was pregnant. She grew up in a society that does not stress deferral of gratification, and it's not her fault that the baby arrived during the prom, for Pete's sake. She has come of age in a society where condom-dispensing schools teach sex education in the modern manner, which has been well-described as plumbing for hedonists. If she is like millions of other young adults, she has spent thousands of hours watching movies and television programs not designed to encourage delicacy of feelings or to suggest that sexuality has morally complex dimensions and serious consequences. If she is like millions of other young adults, she has heard thousands of hours of the coarsening lyrics of popular music. She has grown up in a social atmosphere saturated with opinion leaders' approbation of, and collaboration with, the political program of reducing abortion - the killing of something - to a mere "choice," like choosing to smoke, only not nearly that serious. …

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