STATEMENT: Failure to charge Lane for murder is “travesty of justice,” says archbishop

March 27, 2015

Dave Uebbing
Interim Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Denver
(303) 715-3230


Today Boulder County District Attorney Stanley Garnett announced that he would not charge Dynel Lane, the Colorado woman accused of attacking Michelle Wilkins and removing a 7-month-old unborn baby from her body; a baby girl she planned to name Aurora.

Many cannot understand how such a situation could be possible in Colorado. People from around the country and here in Colorado hear and read about this tragedy and cannot comprehend why Ms. Lane would not be charged for the murder of baby Aurora. The answer is just as inadequate as the Colorado law. Colorado law sadly does not recognize the unborn child as a person capable of having a crime, such as homicide, perpetrated against it.

The vast majority of Coloradans believe, as I do, that when the unborn child of a pregnant woman is murdered, as baby Aurora was, a homicide has been committed. St. John Paul II reminded us in the Gospel of Life that “There can be no true democracy without a recognition of every person’s dignity and without respect for his or her rights. Nor can there be true peace unless life is defended and promoted.” The laws of Colorado should reflect this reality and it is up to each one of us to call upon our elected officials to enact laws that recognize the fact that the unborn can in fact be victims of horrendous crimes such as homicide.

I cannot imagine the horrific loss Michelle and her family is suffering. My heart is filled with sorrow for them for they looked forward to the birth of their child with joy and anticipation.

And Colorado law tells them it was not murder, no crime was committed against the child. I call on all people of good will to keep Michelle and her family in prayer. I pray that God’s comfort will fill the hearts of Michelle and her family as they mourn the loss of Aurora and that the inadequate law of Colorado will change.