In December, an amber alert was issued for an abducted baby after she was ripped from her mother’s womb in the eighth month of gestation. The baby was cut from Bobbi Jo Stinnett’s womb after the mother was murdered. Police believed that the murderer abducted the baby girl and that the child was still living. They alerted citizens to keep an eye open for the missing baby.

Nodaway County Sheriff Ben Espey issued the amber alert following the discovery of the mother, who was murdered on the afternoon of Dec. 16.

According to the U.S. National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, the amber alert plan is a partnership that exists voluntarily between law-enforcement agencies and broadcasters nationwide to activate urgent bulletins in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of this plan is to immediately notify the community at large to assist in the search and safe return of the missing child.

The amber alert was successful, with the baby discovered within 24 hours.

The baby, who has been named Victoria Jo Stinnett, was found in a Kansas home in the care of a woman who claimed that the baby was hers. The suspect had experienced a miscarriage in early 2004 at six months’ gestation, and shortly after had claimed to be pregnant again, with a due date in December. The pregnancy was a lie, and the suspect tried to pass off the eight-month-old girl she had kidnapped as her own to verify her own “pregnancy.”

Following the retrieval of the baby girl, alive and well, Sheriff Espey canceled the amber alert. “It’s about as good as we can get, people,” he said at a news conference subsequent to the ordeal. The baby was located after numerous community members in the suspect’s community gave police a lead.

It is believed to be the first time an amber alert was activated for a child kidnapped from the womb.

While kidnapping unborn children is a rare phenomenon, the incidence of murder of pregnant mothers is rising. However, maternal homicides are seldom reported in the news. According to a recent year-long examination by the Washington Post, 1,367 pregnant women and new mothers have been killed since 1990 – and this is only part of the national toll, because unreliable tracking systems are in place in some states. Some estimates based on the death toll of pregnant women in Maryland, a state that keeps careful records of such incidences, suggest that approximately 295 maternal homicides occur nationwide each year.

The response of pro-life groups to the Stinnett homicide/abduction has been one of outrage and confusion. Violence against the unborn is reaching greater highs. In this recent instance of maternal death and violence, the officers issued an amber alert for an unborn child – a child who could have just as easily been killed by abortion without penalty or even a raised eyebrow. And still, the community stood on watch for this baby who, if still in the womb, would have been considered less than fully human or worthy of protection in the eyes of the law.

Operation Save America’s Angela Michael wrote an article entitled, “The Nightmare before Christmas,” in which she attempted to shed light on the evil towards motherhood and the naturally protective time of pregnancy. “The Scott Petersons, Mark Hackings, Andrea Yateses, and in this case, the Bobbi Jo Stinnett killer, are just the tip of the iceberg. We allow innocent blood to be shed to a god called ‘choice’ by modern-day Jack the Rippers, also known as abortionists. Why are we shocked with the rising numbers of fetal larceny and maternal homicides that make the headlines? A culture of death and a spirit of murder feed the frenzy of barren women murdering for babies and mothers that murder their own babies by paying a modern day Jack the Ripper to do it for them, or by their own hands.”