Early Sunday morning, workers at a wastewater treatment plant in Cincinnati made a startling discovery: Surrounded by trash, an 18-week-old baby was found next in line to be scraped off the machine.
The workers at the plant made a quick decision to save the baby's body. Fox19 reported the following:
"It was my friend that got the courage to step up and call 911 and retrieve the little fetus out of the machine," Jennifer Martin said.
Martin said that her friend, as well as the other employees, are still in shock.
"In all the years that he's worked there, nothing like this has ever happened that they know about," Martin said.
The shock experienced by the employees was enough for the plant to make counseling available to all employees involved in the incident. But shock wasn't the employees' only response. The other half of their response was an incredibly humane desire to bring their community together for a proper burial or cremation to honor the child. Fox 19 described the response:
"Should bring closure to all the people who have been involved," Martin said.
Martin said she believes the fetus was found for a reason - to raise awareness.
She said she hopes this will ensure that women and families know that there are other options and safer ways to handle a situation like this.
"They can call the police and they call the fire department, and it's not their fault that their baby was delivered this early," Martin said. "I haven't been able to sleep just thinking that this doesn't ever have to happen again."
This humane, dignified response to shock and tragedy is exactly what Ohio Right to Life is seeking to embody with our Unborn Child Dignity Act, legislation which will require the humane burial or cremation of an unborn child's remains following an abortion. While there has been no link made between the Cincinnati incident and an induced abortion, this story nevertheless shines a light on the dignified treatment that all unborn children deserve, even in death.
There are still some unanswered questions about what happened to the baby and the mother, as well as the extent of the ongoing investigation. Fox 19 reported, "Martin said she was told that a criminal investigation is out of the question because the fetus was determined to be less than 20-weeks-old."
Still, the response of the courageous workers at the wastewater treatment plant provides us with a powerful, a-political example of how the human heart naturally responds to the sight of a human child's corpse. We commend these workers' response, as well as Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati's offer to cover the cost of burial.
Just like Jennifer Martin, we hope that this story will raise awareness about the dignity of the human person and the help that is available to women in distress.