The murder of pregnant Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child, brings to the surface both the unfortunate phenomenon of the murder of pregnant women and the societal complacence that makes such tragedies commonplace. I was shocked to learn that the leading cause of death among pregnant women in the United States is murder. Horrifying.
A study published in the March 2005 edition of the American Journal of Public Health found that homicide was a leading cause of death among pregnant women in the United States between 1991 and 1999. Data taken from the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the pregnancy-associated homicide ratio was 1.7 per 100,000 live births.
A 2001 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association said 20 percent of Maryland women who died during pregnancy were murdered. Researchers found the same trend in New York from 1987-1991 and in the Chicago area from 1986-1989. According to the CDC, approximately 324,000 pregnant women are hurt by an intimate partner or former partner each year.
In this particular case, the suspect, whom Lance Cpl. Lauterbach had accused recently of raping her, is another Marine, a man of honor presumably. Semper Fi is what we expect. Not here.
In law the man is presumed innocent. In any event, it is ironic that in this case the military, sworn to protect the our country and especially the vulnerable, is in the predicament of explaining how a woman who cried for help is now dead. I don’t suppose this will raise the issue of the way in which women have been integrated into all facets of public life, as if they were men, has, indeed, made the modern woman just “one of the boys.”
Even the National Organization of Women has acknowledged the statistics concerning the rate of death by murder relative to pregnant women. Of course, the vulnerability of pregnant women is best addressed, in their view, by the availability of abortion. I have not seen a breakdown of the statistics, but I would be interested. The article linked to above, suggests that pregnant women might die just as often at the hands of other women as at the hands of men, but I don’t think so. Would it be so unreasonable to follow the hunch that they and their child are murdered most often because the pregnancy is unwanted by the man?
We have ourselves one big problem, and our arrogant social engineers are still not likely to see the obvious.