He’d be 23 years-old today – maybe fresh out of college and starting a career, climbing the ladder, chasing his dreams.

But “Baby Boy Doe” wasn’t given the luxury of years – only tears and a life that ended before it really even began.

Born on November 18, 1997, the infant was abandoned in a trash can of a Chevron gas station restroom in Lake City, Washington. He was found two days later. Laid to rest in Section 18 of Calvary Cemetery, his short existence is recorded by a simple stone marker with an engraved teddy bear etched in the lower righthand corner.

At the time, police had some leads, but nothing panned out. Security footage showed the suspected woman – but nobody ever came forward with a verifiable name. 

It was a tragic story and the type of incident that’s motivated and justified the passage of “safe haven laws” all over the country – legislation that permits parents to drop a child off at emergency rooms or police and fire stations and avoid criminal charges of child abandonment.

Some secrets may last forever, but not all – and not this one.

After more than two decades as an open case, Baby Boy Doe’s mother has been located and arrested. It turns out DNA from placental blood found at the scene was forensically traced back to his mother via genetic genealogy. 

Police have charged Christine Marie Warren with second degree murder. She was 27 at the time of her boy’s birth and 50 now. She was released on $10,000 bail.

One can only wonder how these actions must have haunted Ms. Warren over the years. Reports suggest she hid her pregnancy from family and friends and told police she panicked after giving birth in the gas station restroom. 

Michelle Oberman, who teaches law at Santa Clara University, told the Seattle Times, “I believe the taking of a human life necessitates a criminal-justice response …”

It’s painful to read these types of stories. Empathy and anger somehow mix together. Tragedy is bad enough when it’s seemingly unavoidable, but when deliberate actions lead to the death of innocent baby, sorrow and fury rise up as one.

But in reading Professor Oberman’s reflections, I’m struck by the acknowledgement that yes, the taking of human life is punishable – but what if Ms. Warren had gone to Planned Parenthood instead?

Why is the taking of life inside the womb legal but illegal outside of it, especially when it’s the difference of a matter of mere inches and seconds?

This, of course, is the great lie and hypocrisy of abortion enthusiasts who simply choose to ignore the inconsistencies and indefensibility of championing a legal right to terminate pre-born life.

As many pro-life stalwarts have pointed out over the years, the most dangerous place for a child today is in the womb of an abortion-minded woman.

Our hearts ache for each baby lost and also for women like Ms. Warren – and for the millions who have bought the lie that pre-born life is expendable and maybe not even a life at all.

I’m grateful that “Baby Boy Doe” wasn’t forgotten, and that Seattle’s police didn’t give up their search for answers. Their prioritization of this tragedy reaffirms the significance of every life.

The cracking of this two-plus-decades old cold case should also serve as a reminder that none of us should ever surrender our quest for the legal defense and recognition of preborn children.

Screenshot from q13fox.com