A few days ago employees in the pick-through room of a thrift shop in Birmingham, Alabama found the body of a newborn. The unfortunate discovery was met with the usual vexation and confusion amongst the town’s metro types.

An exception, was Tammy Gardner, a book pricer at the store. Upon discovery of the body, Miss Tammy, who also holds prayer meetings and Bible study for employees. threw an impromptu prayer service at the facility. “I just told them that it’s a terrible, awful thing, but we don’t have to worry about the baby anymore (she’s) in the hands of the Lord,” she told the Birmingham News. “She’ll never feel pain or hurt or fear….We prayed for justice. God says vengeance is His and He will repay.”

Bastardette, having lived a couple of years in a small deep south town during her misspent youth, finds this gothic response to the tragedy familiar and comfortable–a simple response that doesn’t flog the air with theoretical arguments and professional meddling. A thoroughly unmodern attitude.

A few days later, a letter appeared in the Birmingham News. Tom Cook, Director of Catholic Family Services, prompted by the tragic discovery, wanted to remind people–especially women–of services to pregnant women available through his agency. Fair enough. But then, he threw us a curve:

It is tragic the birth mother did not choose adoption as a way to deal with this crisis pregnancy. If she did consider it, she may have had prejudices or misconceptions that prevented her from choosing the option.”

Now, Bastardette is the one who’s vexed and confused. Either Mr. Cook is hitting the pipe or he’s been reading way too much Curtis Young lately–or both. Mr. Young, a Presbyterian minister and former executive director of CareNet, a national franchise of “crisis pregnancy centers,” is the author of The Missing Piece a 2001 Family Research Council “study” on the use of “the adoption option” in CPC counseling. Young argues that adoption has gotten such a bad rap from the media (and made-for-TV movies) that women just don’t see it as an desirable option to a problematic pregnancy AKA: in my family we don’t give away our own flesh and blood. Heck, even CPC counselors see adoption as “baby abandonment” and a “big lie.”

Abortion: Bad!

Dead Baby: Bad!

Live Baby: Good!

Adopted Baby: Better!

Legally Approved Dumped Baby: Best!

Kept Baby: Hmmmm, we don’t know….

So many choices. So little time! What’s a mother to do? In Alabama, according to Mr. Cook’s logic, she just puts it off until it’s too late, and then just donates the kid to the secondhand store–dead.

Now pass me the pipe, Tom. And hush up!

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