Wilkins family rejects donation after State Rep. calls baby cut from womb ‘act of God’
LONGMONT, Colo. — State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt refused to apologize Thursday after calling the death of an unborn Longmont child who was cut out of a pregnant woman’s stomach an ‘act of God.’
On Friday, the family of Michelle Wilkins, the victim in the bizarre and tragic case, refunded a $1,000 donation from Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs, that was intended to help fund Wilkins’ recovery.
It was unclear if the often-controversial Klingenschmitt made the donation before or after he made the polarizing remarks on his evangelical YouTube program, “Pray in Jesus’ Name.” What was clear on Friday was that Wilkins’ family had publicly rejected Klingenschmitt’s donation.
“Just wanted to let everyone know,” read an urgent post on Wilkins’ GoFundMe page, posted shortly before 11 a.m. “A refund of $1,000 has been issued for a payment made by Gordon Klingenschmitt.”
Wilkins, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was responding to an ad on Craigslist for baby clothes on March 18 at the home of seller Dynel Lane when Longmont police said Lane attacked her, opened her womb and took the baby girl, leaving Wilkins bleeding in the basement.
Lane allegedly took the unborn fetus to Longmont United, saying she had miscarriage. She was later arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and child abuse knowingly/recklessly resulting in death.
The Boulder County District Attorney said on Thursday, however, that Lane will not actually face a murder charge.
On Sunday, Klingenschmitt focused his YouTube program on the attack on Wilkins, and quoted the Bible in arguing that the crime was an “act of God” in retribution for America allowing women to have abortions.
“This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb,” Klingenschmitt said. “And part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our women are ripped open.”
On Thursday, Assistant Minority Leader Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton, tried to distance Republican lawmakers from Klingenschmitt and his comments.
“When I saw what he said about the woman being attacked, I was appalled,” Lawrence said. “He does not speak for the Republican caucus. In fact, we’ve counseled him numerous times, as we counsel everybody, that what you say outside of this building because you’re an elected public official sometimes spills over into your official capacity.”
Interviewed Thursday afternoon, Klingenschmitt seemed unwilling to heed Lawrence’s advice, adamant that what he says as a preacher on his Sunday morning program should be viewed separately from his work as an elected official.
“I believe the Bible and I quoted the Bible and I applied it to current events,” Klingenschmitt said. “If other people are offended by the Bible, that’s okay, they don’t have to agree with me or come to my church or watch my TV show. It’s a free country.”