Arizona Pro-Life Group Condemns Flushing Miscarried Baby’s Body Down Toilet

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 8, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arizona Pro-Life Group Condemns Flushing Miscarried Baby’s Body Down Toilet

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 8
, 2009

Mesa, AZ (LifeNews.com) — A statewide pro-life group in Arizona is shocked and saddened to learn that members of the Mesa Police and Fire departments recently mistreated the body of a baby who died in a miscarriage. The officials found the baby’s body in a hotel room in Mesa earlier this month.

Local news reports indicate a 24-year-old mother suffered a miscarriage, and police and firefighters were called to the scene.

Not knowing the proper protocol for handling the body of the reportedly 12-14 week-old baby after contacting supervisors, one of the officers eventually decided to flush the baby’s body down the toilet.

Mesa Police Chief George Gascón said the case was the first he had seen and said that the right procedure would have been to get the unborn baby to a local medical center.

"What occurred here, I’ve never seen in my career," Gascón told the East Valley Tribune.

The officers involved in the incident were placed on administrative leave, including lead officer Glenn Pearson and officers Kristen Johnson and Robert Buquo.

"We will fully and completely investigate these incidents," Gascón said. "Right now, we are going on very little information. I am just finding out about this myself."

Assistant Mesa Fire Chief Dan Stubbs also indicated that two emergency medical technicians and two paramedics were also in the room and that he plans to educate them on what to do in the future.

Stubbs said "there is no standard protocol for such a call."

Arizona Right to Life released a statement telling LifeNews.com that it is calling on Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and the Mesa City Council to initiate training for these departments in how to handle future cases.

"Arizona Right to Life stands ready to assist with such education pertaining to the dignity of all human persons. Our staff of volunteer educators include doctors, nurses and lawyers who are ready to help the City of Mesa and its personnel so that this terrible incident never happens again," the group said.

Right to Life notes that Arizona law indicates the medical examiner’s office, hospital, or Unexplained Infant Death Advisory Council should have been called to the scene to handle the body.

"The lack of respect for this little child reminds us of the corroding effects of the abortion culture and we demand that both police and fire departments be educated as to the humanity of the unborn child and the respect that every child deserves–even in death," the group said.

The pro-life organization also indicated that incidents of stillborn or miscarried babies are not unusual and noted that, between 2003 and 2007, there were 2,702 stillbirths according to the Arizona Department of Health.

Photos were taken of the baby’s body but the room and sheets at the motel were cleaned, eliminating the ability of officials to gather further evidence in the case.

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