This week in Arkansas, a young girl left a baby on a neighbor’s doorstep. She said that she was ‘scared and didn’t know what to do.’ That breaks my heart.
Arkansas has a Safe Haven Law. This allows an infant to be left at any hospital emergency room or law enforcement agency anonymously, no questions asked.
I’m sorry this teenager didn’t know this. But she’s not alone. I mentioned the Safe Haven Law at church Wednesday night and no one in the group had ever heard of such a thing.
The late 1990s had a surge in infant abandonment, many resulting in death of the babies. In response to these incidents, a movement began to allow parents to relinquish custody of unharmed newborns to a safe place without fear of prosecution.
In 1999, Texas was the first state to enact such a law, led by then-governor George W. Bush. Since that time, all U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia have passed Safe Haven legislation.
This is a loving choice in the case of an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy — to give the child an opportunity to have a permanent home.
It is sad that the young girl felt she had nowhere to turn. I’m not joining the ones who cry about what she “shouda”. I’m just sorry she didn’t know there was a Safe Haven for her baby. .
For more information: click here or call 1-888-510-BABY.