I am appalled by how the case with Mikayla Munn is being blown up in the media and the trajectory of where it is going in the courts. Although Mikayla knew she was pregnant and lied to authorities, etc., I’m sure there is more to this than people have seen or heard.

Birth is labor. Hard work. First time birth can be traumatic. I know this personally from having two children of my own. And depression during pregnancy as well as postpartum depression is a reality with some women. I took medication for this very reason after the birth of one of my own children. Symptoms of depression also manifest differently in different people — not everyone acts as one might expect a depressed individual to act. I would venture to guess this woman had no supportive community around her. No one to encourage or support her (especially during birth!). She obviously had gifts and leadership abilities if she was a resident assistant. But, who really knew her or what she was going on in her life?Spending years in jail for this crime is preposterous. Where does counseling come into play? Where does remediation come into play? This woman’s life and reputation will be tainted for life. Mistakes happen to all of us. I have a lot of questions. Was this woman herself unwanted when she was born or a child? If one hasn’t experienced love from their immediate family it can be very difficult to know how to love one’s own child or know how to love. Where was this woman’s father? He wasn’t even mentioned. How about the men in this woman’s life? Even though a male helped with the conception of this child, were they there to help or offer support? No, somehow no responsibility was taken.Unless we have walked in someone’s shoes and know where they have come from, we need to be careful of how we speak of them. Are we called to tear down or build up each other as we all journey through life?SARA H. MAST

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