Feb 2, 2015
A 24-year-old mother named Angela Alexie has been the subject of news headlines in Southwest Michigan. Alexie self-delivered a child in the unheated garage of a home in Eastpoint, Michigan, unattended and with no help from anyone. Subsequently, the newborn baby’s body was found at a recycling facility in Macomb County with the umbilical cord still attached.
While the mother has said that the baby was dead on delivery, the press has focused on sensational speculation. Headlines like “Baby Died Cold and Alone” were front page news. The press has focused on the baby’s body being found in a dump to insinuate that the young woman had no remorse and would not even give permission for the baby’s body to be buried, which was flat-out false.
They have put this young woman forward as a cold-blooded killer who callously allowed her baby to die of neglect and who then threw the body in the dump. None of these speculations has been substantiated.
And the authorities are calling for blood as well. Alexie has been charged with felony murder and first degree child abuse and her bond set at a million dollars, when it is obvious that she was not fit to make decisions or be on her own.
According to witnesses, this young woman was unbalanced, bipolar and suffering from depression.
Court records indicate the same thing. Alexie had three other children, the last of whom was also kept secret and self-delivered by the mother. The state Child Protective Services records verify previous psychological and support problems that resulted in Alexie’s children being taken from her.
But the tragedy of a young woman who has given up three children and twice felt forced to self-deliver children never made the headlines. One authority blamed the victim by saying that the mother could have just given the baby to any authority available after childbirth (assuming the baby survived childbirth). This is a very cool, detached perspective from someone who has probably never self-delivered a child, living or dead, in a cold garage.
How many situations like this are happening today as the right-wing politicians and authorities move to eliminate abortion rights and even birth control rights of women? How many women are facing unwanted pregnancies with no help in sight, unable to afford hospitalization, unable to afford to raise a child? It is complete rubbish to say that a woman can just deliver a baby and hand it over for adoption.
Meanwhile, those who shut millions out of their for-profit health care system continue to make their billions. And those who attack women’s right to control pregnancy are left unaccountable for the horrible price being paid for unsupportable pregnancies by women and their children.
Who wants to self-deliver a baby in a cold garage? Nobody! But increasingly, the ill and the poor are being forced into making horrible choices. Those who run the system are to blame for the tragedies that occur as a result.