I feel like I've read versions of this horrific story about a hundred times, but here's number one hundred and one: Last week, a school girl in Chicago gave birth to a living baby at home and then committed infanticide. In this case, the teen stuffed the minutes-old child in a plastic Wal-mart shopping bag and then went about her business. Why? Because she's a scared, confused kid who lacked resources and now has to suffer not only the emotional, but the legal consequences of her actions.
The enraging cherry on this slice of horrible cake? ILLINOIS HAS SAFE HAVEN LAWS.
Let's go over these. In Illinois, you may turn over a baby who is under 30 days old to:
- Any staffed fire department
- Any hospital
- Any emergency care center
- Any police station
You don't have to leave your name. You don't have to leave your number. You don't have to tell your mom or stick around for a chat. Just arrive in a Justin Timberlake mask for all they care and place your newborn baby in the arms of a staff member at one of those locations and you're in the clear. YES! The baby will be adopted into a loving family, you did the right thing, everybody sings. (For more info on this fine topic, check out Save Abandoned Babies.)
Why aren't Safe Haven laws shouted from the rooftops at high schools? Is it some kind of pearl-clutching sex-ed issue? The puritans can have a seat. If we want to save babies from being killed at birth or left in Burger King bathrooms, Safe Haven laws need to be publicized. While we're at it, let's nix the stigma of teen sex in the first place. It happens. Deal.
Wait! I'm kind of excited about getting Illustrator, so here's a little PSA I whipped up:
Anyway, these cases happen all the time. Tragically. Young girls know nothing about logic or the world or love or babies or consequences. Or the law, apparently. All this kid had to do was drop the newborn off in capable hands and that child didn't have to die in a Walmart shopping bag.
Safe Haven laws. Spread it around.
UPDATE- All 50 states have some version of this law. This needs to be common knowledge!
Before you go, I was on Scary Mommy last week talking about dudes and breastfeeding (a riot!) and I'm also on Lifetime Moms today waxing about the euphemism treadmill and the term "stay-at-home-mom". Check me out . . . OR ELSE.
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Filed under: Chicago Injustice