Woman Kills Her Six Newborns, Claims "Pregnancy Denial"

A disturbing trend is snaking across Europe, and the strangest part about it is that nobody really knows if it's a medical issue - or just a collective bunch of crazy women.

On Monday, Celine Lesage, a 38-year-old French woman confessed to killing her six newborn babies, all of whom were born between 2000 and 2007. And not only did she kill them soon after they were born, she kept their bodies in plastic bags in her basement - even taking the bags with her when she moved.

"During questioning by investigators, Lesage acknowledged strangling two
of the newborns and suffocating four others, according to judicial
documents," MSNBC reports, adding "at the time of her arrest, prosecutor Michel Garrandaux said she
described giving birth to the first five alone in the apartment she
shared with...her boyfriend at the time."

Although it's unclear at this time what Lesage's defense attorneys will try to do, a "string of similar cases" involving mothers murdering their newborns sweeping through Germany, and a second French case involving a woman who kept 2 of her murdered babies in her freezer, all point to a possible plea of "pregnancy denial."

What exactly is pregnancy denial? Well, right now it's basically just a term that has yet to be recognized as a real mental disorder, but there is a group of people who are doing their best to get the term legitimized.

Felix Navarro, president of the French Association for the Recognition
of Pregnancy Denial, was recently interviewed by a French media outlet about the mounting cases of infant murders in his country. While Navarro admitted that pregnancy denial is "not classified as a psychiatric illness," he claims that "doctors know it well."

To Navarro and others who agree with him, pregnancy denial boils down to women not knowing they're pregnant. According to Navarro, these women don't gain much weight, sometimes even have their periods, and go through nine months of carrying a fetus without realizing they're doing it.

"One must understand the circumstances under which these situations
arise," Navarro told the French media. "A woman who has total pregnancy denial suffers terribly painful
symptoms that she doesn’t understand. Her water breaks and she sees
something coming out of her body: something she can’t fully discern,
something that is sometimes inanimate and that the woman doesn’t
necessarily identify as a baby."

Using pregnancy denial as a defense, women like Celine Lesage can claim that they killed their babies during delivery or right after because they just "didn't know what was happening."

A defense like that could make sense if someone had one baby without knowing it. But six babies, who were all kept for years in plastic bags after they were killed, is not pregnancy denial. That's murder, with a hefty dose of mental illness thrown in.
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Top Opinion

  • sasquatchette 2010/03/15 22:35:48
    One of the things that is supposed to separate us from the animals is our ability to assess what's going on. So while I appreciate your attempt to give someone the benefit of the doubt by allowing the pregnancy denial defense for the first baby, I'm not buying it. Having been through labor and delivery a couple of times, it is perfectly plausible that if a woman doesn't know she's pregnant (and it happens! Check out a TV series called "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant") isn't necessarily going to figure it out during labor. During labor, all that higher order reasoning shuts off and you single-mindedly focus on getting through it. But right afterward, when your senses return to you, you ought to be able to ... assess what's going on (as I pointed out above). So there's really no excuse, "pregnancy denial" or no.

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  • angel face 2010/04/03 10:23:13
    angel face
    that is so wrong. i mean, why would she keep killing her babies lik that? its not even close to being pregnancy denial. she is a sick woman who needs to die
  • hannah 2010/03/31 15:25:30
    idk whats to say its completely unformunatae and saddening but if she is or hasa a metal disorder either way shes gonna be in some form of instatuion weather it be jail or a soft padded room ?
  • JCD aka "biz" 2010/03/19 13:16:15
    JCD aka "biz"
    She has been sentenced to 15 years in jail and might free in 8 or 10. Here in France, the jury, which includes a minority of judges, decides the sentence. She is a criminal, but also a very sick person.
  • CindyLee 2010/03/18 14:32:32
    1 could possibly be an illness, and being in shock, 6 is murder.
  • lunaed 2010/03/16 23:27:18
    when mothers themselves kill their newborns, it shows the state of morality in today's world....
  • Death F... lunaed 2010/03/19 03:03:04
    Death Faerie
    Actually, people have been killing their newborns since the beginning of time. Read about the Spartans for example. If a child were imperfect they would be abandoned to the elements, its not right, but its always happened.
  • jimiwhitten 2010/03/16 22:47:09
    Personally, I think she should be choked until she passes out five times and on the sixth, go ahead and kill the bitch! I have heard of some pretty hokey defenses but if you deliver six kids you gotta have a clue what is causing it and what is happening. There is no defense for killing the newborn, abortion is legal and the morning after pill exists in France...
  • Samantha 2010/03/16 15:09:54
    She needs to be sterilzed so she can't murder anymore innocent babies
  • Death F... Samantha 2010/03/19 03:03:48
    Death Faerie
  • Nagia 2010/03/16 14:52:17
    Let's just accept for one moment that it is possible not to understand tht something is growing inside you. When u see a baby beeing born the first thing that pops up your mind is to kill it cause you can't identify it????? Come On!! Everyone who has ever witnessed something beeing born ( a kitty, a puppy, a hamster..) knows that the very sight of a new born is the most joyfull thing in the world..That is to people that are not psycho killers.
  • DanaR 2010/03/16 14:14:49
  • Herb 2010/03/16 14:04:08 (edited)
    i say throw the book t these woman i don't feel sorrow for the them. i say do the same thing to them they did to there babies. sick or not these ladies don't deserve and compation the sorry sobs. I agree one was maybe something but six its muder,
  • jessica 2010/03/16 13:39:44
    pregnancy denial? Come on! Whats next Rape Denial, Murder Denial???!!! What a cop-out! Seriously. We are capable of denying anything, but the reality is.. denying it doesn't change the fact that it is real, does exist, or did happen. If someone has a legitimate disorder, then fine. Put them in an institution after something like this because killing and keeping the bodies of six babies is murder no matter how you look at it. But to allow people such cop-out excuses like pregnancy denial?? Denying th preganacy is one thing, but if I had not known I was pregnant I would be like "holy shit!" and I'd call an amublance when I went into labor. I would not be like let me KILL my child.
  • sweetserinity13 2010/03/16 13:25:50
    Once is an accident six times is most deff murder. This is horrifying and I don't really know what to say except my prayers are with those babies and I hope the parents are never released from prison.
  • PlueNeedsPants 2010/03/16 12:19:55 (edited)
    I'm all for people get diagnosed with a mental or physical disorder and getting the help they need, but this is just ridiculous. I do agree with the poster, it could have honestly been a mistake if it was one time and the woman truly didn't know, but six times? Yeah, you know after six times.
  • laureenf 2010/03/16 11:22:27
    The quirks of nature aren't species limited. Prayers for the babies....I would have to say, in this situation, sterilization should be mandatory if she is ever loosed on the public.
  • NarcolepticGoat 2010/03/16 11:17:49 (edited)
    Once I might buy it. Six times? Keeping the bodies? Uhm, murder.

  • Treecat47 2010/03/16 08:42:10
    That's awful! Six kids? That's not denial that is murder. Mentally ill or not.

    Just think they could have been adopted out to people who can't have kids if she really didn't want them or maybe got her tubes tied.
  • Velvetrose 2010/03/16 08:16:22
    She strangled 2 and suffacated the other 4. Thats murder! No matter how you look at it. She killed them! She knew what she was doing! Thats horrible!
  • Simmering Frog 2010/03/16 05:55:32
    Simmering Frog

    Whoa! After all these years of the radical feminist movement, I thought women can do whatever they want with their own bodies!

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