An Ohio judge handed down a life sentence to 20-year old Emile Weaver this week, with no chance for parole.
Just over two months ago, Weaver gave birth to a little girl — which she named Addison Grace — in the downstairs bathroom at her Muskingum University sorority house. Weaver’s sorority sisters had speculated that she was trying to hide a pregnancy, and that her activities were both suspicious and, if pregnant, very harmful to a developing child. They would later testify that, in the months leading up to the birth, Weaver had drunk excessively, taken large quantities of pills known to cause birth defects, smoked marijuana, and played semi-violent contact sports on a regular basis.
On the morning Addison Grace was born, sorority sisters discovered blood all over the bathroom floor. Though initially unsure of where it came from, they soon discovered Addison Grace’s little body in a dumpster outside the house, and they immediately knew. Investigators determined that Weaver had given birth, cut the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors, and thrown away the baby she didn’t want. Addison Grace died from asphyxiation in the plastic bag in just a few short minutes.
A jury found Emile Weaver guilty of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse, and two counts of tampering with evidence. Emile Weaver will spend the rest of her life in prison for a heinous crime, committed against an innocent child. Her friends, forever haunted by finding a bloodied, dead little girl in a dumpster, will never be able to forget what they saw. Weaver deserves prison.
But, as columnist Matt Walsh suggests, perhaps Weaver’s worst crime was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What if, 24 hours earlier, Weaver had bought a cheap plane ticket to Washington, D.C., or Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico, Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, or New Jersey? These jurisdictions have no limits on the point at which a woman can obtain an abortion. Emile Weaver could have shown up at an abortion clinic, had a late-term abortion, flown home, and never have seen a judge, faced a jury, or gone to prison. She would have been, in the eyes of even the exact same jury, completely innocent of any crime.
So how is it that Emile Weaver is guilty of aggravated murder and sentenced to life in prison for suffocating a child in a plastic bag in Ohio, but completely innocent if she had flown to Denver and had a doctor remove it piece by piece just a few hours earlier? I’m completely convinced that there is no justifiable answer to that question.
The only thing separating murder from abortion is a thin, half-inch piece of skin and tissue, separating the inside from the outside. We should, as Americans, at least be able to come to an understanding that setting boundaries, at least in the case of late-term abortions, is common sense.
It doesn’t matter if you think Emile Weaver would have been a horrible mother. It doesn’t matter if you think Addison Grace would have had a horrible life. We’ll never know the answer to either of those questions. What we do know is that murder is wrong.
For a world so interested in social justice, we sure have some big blinders on.