But in this case there is something especially odd. A fetus. How did they know, these reporters and editors? The answer of course is that they did not know. The poor dead infant body that was found was not found inside the woman's body.
Reporters and editors who initially dubbed it a fetus were not reporting the news, but jumping to conclusions. If it is Laci Peterson's baby, it must be called a fetus, never a baby. Otherwise people might get confused.
Late-term abortions are less than 2 percent of all abortions, but they are not rare; they are shockingly common: Each year in America, people with medical licenses kill more than 10,000 human young roughly the same age as Laci Peterson's child, with the capacity to survive outside the mother's womb.
It is good to know that sometimes, common human decency can overwhelm ideology. And disturbing to think how often it does not.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.