by Steven Ertelt
January 4, 2005
Mount Clemens, MI (LifeNews.com) — A teenager has been charged in a bizarre case in which his pregnant girlfriend told him to hit her with a small baseball bat in order to cause the death of her unborn child.
Prosecutors have charged the sixteen year-old Richmond, Michigan resident with intentionally terminating a woman’s pregnancy by causing a miscarriage or stillbirth. The crime is a felony under a 1999 pro-life law protecting pregnant women from violence and the teenager could serve fifteen years in jail as a result.
According to Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith, the boyfriend beat the mother in the abdomen with a miniature baseball bat every other day for three weeks.
The parents of both teenagers were apparently unaware that the woman was pregnant and that the youths were attempting to produce an abortion with the beatings.
The teenage boy will be tried in juvenile court for the death of the baby. The mother, also sixteen years old, will not be charged in connection with the incidents.
Smith told the Associated Press that the teenager boy must either plea guilty to the charges or face trial.
"This crime is shocking and reprehensible," he said. "I will not entertain any plea bargaining on it."
The couple were discovered when friends revealed information about the incident to counselors at a meeting to help teens deal with social issues.
Chief medical examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz said that the child died of premature birth associated with trauma to the mother. While the body was severely decomposed after the baby was found, it was determined to be a male child, about 6 months into the pregnancy.
According to police, the teens contacted the boy’s mother to help dispose of the body, which was buried in their backyard. Police discovered the body after a tip from friends of the teen mother who were told of the premature birth.
Right to Life of Michigan president Barbara Listing said in a statement that her organization will continue to encourage women to seek alternatives to violent ends to their pregnancies, including abortion.
"Sometimes the ‘why’ will never be answered, but this does give us an opportunity to talk about options for teens in similar situations," said Listing. "Untimely pregnancies do not have to end with a violent death for the unborn child; inside or outside of an abortion clinic."