Last month, a landscaping crew in a Chicago suburb discovered a black backpack left beside the roadway of the house where they were working. Inside, wrapped in a brown bath mat, was the lifeless body of a newborn baby girl, blue and swollen.
Local police launched an investigation to find the baby’s mother, and community members stepped forward to cover funeral and burial expenses—the only act of human kindness they could offer to this abandoned child. Though initially referred to as “Baby Doe,” the police began to call her “Baby Hope,” inspired by the hope that her mother could be found and the mystery of her brief life revealed.
As horrible as the tragedy that befell Baby Hope is, the way our society responded to it reveals our best instincts as a people. The community rallied together to return this abandoned child to our human family: to give her a name, to find her mother, to provide her a proper burial. Someone even went out and set up a memorial cross where the backpack was found.
What a stark contrast to the way we treat those other abandoned children, the unborn victims of abortion.
It must have been horrifying moment for those landscapers when they opened up that backpack and found a dead baby inside—a day they’ll never forget. But that very same day, other landscaping crews turned out at abortion clinics across the country to cut the grass and trim the bushes, as children only a few weeks younger than Baby Hope were being killed inside.
Even as we work to reconnect Baby Hope with her mother and learn what crisis led to this public tragedy, our laws are working to separate mothers from their children through abortion—to cast these children outside the human family. While we raise money to bury poor Baby Hope, the bodies of aborted children are thrown into incinerators, dumped in landfills, or even flushed down the drain.
But not everyone has forgotten the abandoned victims of abortion. Over the years, a few of them have been granted that last gift of human kindness, a proper burial. At more than 50 gravesites across the country, tens of thousands of abortion victims have been so honored—a staggering number, but only a tiny fraction of the nearly 60 million of our children legally aborted since 1973.
On Saturday, September 10, these gravesites will be visited by thousands of Americans during fourth annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. Memorial services will also be observed at more than 100 other sites across the country consecrated in memory of abortion’s unborn victims.
At these Day of Remembrance services, pro-life activists will tell their stories of recovering the bodies of abortion victims from dumpsters and pathology labs, and fighting to have them buried—sometimes even being sued by abortion providers. Mothers and fathers who regret choosing abortion will share their testimonies. Grieving parents and grandparents will publicly mourn for the children they have lost.
When people heard about the tragedy of Baby Hope, many lamented that her mother had not taken advantage of the “Safe Haven” law that allows newborn children to be dropped off at hospitals and firehouses, no questions asked. Such laws save more than 3,000 babies every year in the United States.
Curiously, that’s the same number of babies aborted in our country—not every year, but every single day. There is no “safe haven” for unborn children—not even their own mothers’ wombs.
This Saturday, we will contemplate who these millions of unknown children might have become, if only we had kept them safe from abortion.