OMAHA, Neb. — A Nebraska teenager who threw her newborn baby out the window won’t be spending any time behind bars, but instead has been ordered to therapy, community service and probation, and must delete her Facebook account due to outrage from thousands upset over the girl’s crime.
Antonia Lopez, 16, gave birth in the middle of the night on September 30, and after throwing the child out of her second-story bedroom window, told her mother what she had done.
Her mother, “distraught and frantic,” then called 911. Both Lopez and her baby were transported to Creighton University Medical Center, but the child was pronounced dead upon arrival. The baby was determined to be between 25 and 28 weeks gestation.
Lopez allegedly told police that she didn’t know she was pregnant and therefore panicked, but her boyfriend disputed the assertion and said that he had urged Lopez to tell her mother about the pregnancy and see a doctor. He advised that she texted him at 2 a.m. the morning she gave birth, “It was a girl by the the way,” and requested help to hide the baby.
Lopez was soon arrested and charged with one count of felony child abuse resulting in death. She faced up to 20 years in prison for the crime.
However, last month, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine agreed to move Lopez’ case from district court to juvenile court since she only had a prior theft charge on her record. He opined the the best course of action for the teen would be rehabilitation.
On Friday, Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Christopher Kelly agreed, stating that the teen isn’t getting help in the Douglas County Youth Center. He ordered that the she live in a group home, obtain both individual and family therapy, serve 50 hours of community service and be placed on probation.
She must also delete her Facebook account since she received thousands of negative comments from those upset with the teen following her arrest.
“To say she doesn’t understand is disingenuous. She understands,” Lopez’s defense attorney Rebecca McClung told the news outlet Rare, asserting that Lopez thought the baby was stillborn. “She’s coping the best she can.”
However, an autopsy determined that the baby was breathing at the time she was thrown out the window.
“The autopsy revealed that the baby suffered bleeding near her skull, brain, spine and abdomen. The pathologist told police that the bleeding indicated that there was a heartbeat—the baby was alive when the blunt-force injuries were sustained,” the Omaha World-Herald outlines.
As previously reported, in an introductory lecture to his course on obstetrics in 1854, Philadelphia doctor Hugh Lennox Hodge lamented that even the mothers of his day were lacking of natural affection toward their own children and sought out means to kill them.
“They seem not to realize that the being within them is indeed animate, that is, in verity, a human being—body and spirit—that it is of importance, that its value is inestimable, having reference to this world and the next,” he said. “They act with as much indifference as if the living, intelligent, immortal existence lodged within their organs were of no more value than the bread eaten, or the common excretions of the system.”
“We can bear testimony that in some instances, the woman who has been well educated, who occupies high stations in society, whose influence over others is great, and whose character has not been impugned, will deliberately resort to any and every measure which may effectively destroy her unborn offspring,” Hodge sorrowed.
“[S]he recklessly and boldly adopts measures, however severe and dangerous, for the accomplishment of her unnatural, her guilty purpose … that she may be delivered of [a child] for which she has no desire, and whose birth and appearance she dreads.”