When a mother is unable to care for her baby and no suitable family member is willing to accept the responsibility, the baby may be placed for adoption. Last week, a judge ordered such a baby killed.

When the plight of this child was discovered, hundreds of couples came forward offering to adopt the baby, but the judge ordered the child put to death anyway.

Question: In what third-world banana republic did this occur?

Answer: Dade County, Florida, USA.

In less time then it took to recount Miami-Dade ballots in the 2000 election, Circuit Court Judge Arthur Rothenberg vacillated on the fate of this child for a few hours and then gave the order to kill this baby.

Would someone about to drown a litter of kittens not gladly give them up if suitable homes could be found?

The mother was a 28-year-old disabled woman who was placed in a group home by the state. At 3 weeks of age, she suffered a severe bout with bacterial meningitis which left her deaf and retarded with the cognitive skills of a 4-year-old. She also suffers from hydrocephaly and has a shunt from her brain to her stomach to drain off excess fluid.

A few weeks ago, it was discovered that she was pregnant. Obviously, she had been raped. Her child was, of course, viable. She was scheduled for an abortion – a quick fix for this embarrassing little problem!

However, late-term abortions are risky and her court-appointed guardian wasn’t sure this was in her best interest, so the decision was left to Judge Rothenberg.

Three doctors who specialize in high-risk pregnancies told the judge her 24-week baby was developing normally and there was no medical reason to intervene, as a normal birth is the safest way to end a pregnancy. All her needs were being met. No worries, right?

Wrong! By this time, the usual suspects, who never pass up an opportunity to push abortion while pretending to have a woman’s best interests at heart, had gotten involved.

A neurologist informed the judge that carrying this baby to term “could” cause problems with her shunt and “might” result in the baby being deformed. Taking a neurologist’s advice on pregnancy is tantamount to going to a podiatrist for brain surgery!

The procedure that had been scheduled was a hysterotomy, which under any other circumstance would be called a Caesarean section. (Other late-term abortion procedures are blind and more dangerous to the mother.)

The only difference between a hysterotomy and a C-section is after opening the woman’s abdomen, the abortionist puts a clamp on the umbilical cord and waits. This cuts off the baby’s supply of oxygen. The baby begins to breathe through his nose and drowns in the amniotic fluid. Then, the abortionist removes the dead child.

A termination of pregnancy does not have to end with the death of a baby. Mathew Staver, an attorney in Orlando who founded Liberty Council, pleaded with the judge to allow this baby to live. One obstetrician rated this child’s survival chances as high as 60 percent, so the judge ordered the hospital to perform a live birth instead.

However, after a full-court press by the abortionist, who told the judge this baby’s chance of survival was only 10 percent, Rothenberg changed his mind again. What did it matter? If you order the child killed he has no chance to survive.

What tipped the scales? It was “Mommy Dearest.” The mother of the pregnant woman, who loved her handicapped child so much that she gave up all legal rights to her child and moved to Maryland, suddenly made the scene to push for the abortion. The judge ruled in favor of this woman saying, “She objected strongly to a C-section, which would have been required to attempt a live birth.”

The judge also cited the words of the expectant mother with the brain of a 4-year-old who said, “My baby no more.” Gee, that was relevant! He also ordered the doctor to sterilize this woman. If she is raped again, no one will know. How compassionate and convenient!

This may be one of the worst decisions ever handed down by a judge in this country. It is completely illogical, immoral and indefensible.

There was, however, more a stake than a hole in one abortionist’s schedule.

The state has another mentally disabled woman in Orlando with the same embarrassing little problem, and Gov. Jeb Bush wants a separate guardian appointed for this child. Considering present conditions in the state, this could be the best way to protect the mother as well.

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