A Texas man arrested for the 2019 death of his pregnant and unwed sister pled guilty to her murder last week and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Eduardo Arevalo, who was 19 at the time, said he killed her because her pregnancy was an “embarrassment” to the family.
His sister was eight months pregnant with a baby girl, who did not survive.
Arevalo’s family was shocked, saying they could never have imagined him committing such a heinous crime. And though he accepted a deal for the murder of his sister, we cannot overlook the fact that he took another life that day as well. That baby girl lost her life before she even had a chance to be born. In one horrific moment, that family lost two members.
Tragedies like this happen all too often in our world because many people are of the mindset that a baby is a threat—to their way of life, to finances, to a relationship, to their image, or to their health. They don’t understand the truth that all babies are a blessing and that it’s wrong to take the life of an innocent person.
Regardless of the circumstances behind how a baby is created—be it unplanned, out of love, as a result of a one-night-stand, or even as a result of rape—every baby is special and unique. A baby created by rape has no less value than a baby created by a couple who has been trying for years.
This tiny human being—whom science proves was created when the sperm fertilized the egg—begins growing at that very moment. In fact, at that very moment of creation, he has all the DNA he will ever get; he is an unrepeatable person deserving of the same protection that you and I have. This beautiful miracle is something we should rejoice at, not be embarrassed by.
When we see stories like Eduardo Arevalo’s, we realize that society has gotten pregnancy all wrong. Society seems to have forgotten the baby.
Women scream for “reproductive rights.” They falsely claim that it’s their body, when in reality they have another whole and complete person living inside them. And they fail to look at the most obvious fact—that every pregnancy involves a mom and at least one baby. That baby is a unique human being who, if allowed to, will grow to be an infant, then a toddler, a teenager, an adult, and an elderly person. These are all simply stages of development—stages that begin on that very first day.
If we want to create a society that values this baby from the first moment of creation, we must not only educate people—especially children—about the uniqueness of the baby and stop stigmatizing the moms, but we must stop dreading and hating the babies.
This responsibility falls upon each one of us, for when we help perpetuate the belief that a baby is a burden and that we can discard a baby at will, we contribute to a society overcome with loathing. We see this disdain for babies and for human beings at all stages every time we open a news page.
We can lament that society has lost its way. We can become angry when we hear stories like Arevalo’s. We can shake our heads and move on to the next story. But none of that does any good. We must do something to show our love. This hatred for babies will only be resolved by love for both moms and babies—no matter their circumstance.
Babies are not an embarrassment. A pregnant mom who has chosen life for her baby should never be treated as a pariah. She should be supported, cared for, and cherished, just as her baby should be. That is why there are so many pregnancy resource centers available to help moms. And that is why we must work every day to care for moms and babies and to teach our children, our friends, and our family members that all babies have value. Failure to stand up for the babies will only result in more dead babies.
This article first appeared in the Catholic World Report at catholicworldreport.com/2023/07/17/failure-to-stand-up-for-the-babies-results-in-more-dead-babies.