Death of Unborn Baby Girl in Texas Similar to Judge-Ordered Death of Terri Schiavo

Opinion   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 27, 2014   |   2:11PM   |   Washington, DC

The debate continues to rage over the life of death of little Nicole Machado Munoz, whose life ended when her father won the right from a judge to remove her “brain dead” mother from life support.

The debate over Erick Munoz’s decision to remove his wife’s life support and terminate his baby’s life has sparked disagreements even within the pro-life community. Some pro-life people believe Erick Munoz is essentially responsible for an abortion of his daughter — needlessly taking her life when she was days away from being viable enough to live outside her mothers womb with a good chance of surviving.

munoz3Other pro-life people, relying on media reports, believe baby Nicole was dead or herself mentally or physically disabled because of what happened to her mother. They say Erick Munoz’s decision was a heartbreaking one but do not regard the ending of little Nicole’s life as an abortion or as the purposeful taking of her life.

Jill Stanek, a nurse who rose to national fame when she saw viable babies left to die after failed abortions at the Chicago-area hospital where she worked, put the case in perspective today on her blog. She likens Nicole’s death to that of Terri Schiavo, whose live was also ended after a judicial order by her family:

It’s Terri Schiavo all over again.

Another pro-death judge has inexplicably ordered the death of an innocent, helpless person due to a family’s wishes.

Despite a Texas law requiring that pregnant mothers be kept on life support until their preborn babies are viable, District Court Judge R. H. Wallace on Friday ordered John Peter Smith Hospital to remove Marlise Munoz’s life support by 5p Monday – and the hospital has already complied.

Munoz (pictured above right with her husband Erick and now 15-month-old son) was 33 years old and 14 weeks pregnant with her second baby when she apparently suffered a pulmonary embolism on November 26. Her husband and parents have been incomprehensibly fighting ever since to have her taken off of life support – knowing that in the process their child and grandchild would also die.

Their thinking made no sense to me from the get-go. Marlise wanted this baby, and the baby would have been a part of Marlise left alive on this earth. Yet due to a supposedly unwritten (like Schiavo) request not to remain on life support, the family stuck to this, never taking the baby  – or the mother’s wishes for her baby – into consideration.

Family statement fails to mention baby

Both mother and baby are reportedly now dead. The family has issued a statement of confirmation – oddly never mentioning the baby who died along with his or her mother:

The Muñoz and Machado families will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Muñoz’s body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered. May Marlise Muñoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey.

Hello? It’s as if the baby never existed. It just seems there is more to this story than meets the eye.



According to Erick’s attorneys, the baby was “distinctly abnormal…. the lower extremities are deformed to the extent that the gender cannot be determined.”

But medical professionals know you never know until you physically see the baby. And what does that say about the family – working overtime to kill a potentially challenged baby rather than raise the baby, or allow the baby to be adopted.

According to news reports, the baby would have been 23 weeks old tomorrow, the date set by the judge to kill her because, according to court documents, “the fetus gestating inside Mrs. Munoz is not viable.”

Yet the baby would have been considered potentially viable at 23 weeks according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (pg 1407).

As with Terri Schiavo, elected officials also failed this little baby, many of whom are pro-life – but bailed.

There is the legal question whether what just happened was a post 20-week abortion, now illegal in the State of Texas. Hospital personnel terminated this baby’s life, and neither the mother’s life nor health were in danger.