Tuesday, November 15, 2011


In every life comes a visit to a hospital. Minimizing those visits is my goal and I’m pleased to say my “injury” will not result in surgery, something I had dreaded.  I learned it pays to eat properly and exercise. It has once again held me in good stead. While visiting the hospital for a test, I saw for the first time this sign:
Two of them, in fact. One in English and another in Spanish.  I knew that safe surrender has been advertised in the news, and radio, perhaps on television. I knew that  fire departments and hospitals encourage safe surrender of babies, if, as a new mother, without resources, or for any reason, you wish to give up your newborn. I had never seen a safe surrender sign before.
Unfortunately, in some states, it is still a crime to abandon your infant.  It usually begins with a young person, scared to tell her parents she is pregnant.  She doesn’t know what to do, or where to turn. She is completely incapable of taking care of a child or supporting it. Poverty is often a factor for her and her family, and the father.  The good news is that mother’s no longer need to abandon babies in a locker, or a dumpster, or on someone’s doorstep. Horrific tales of abandoned babies dying by being attacked by feral dogs, or smothered in plastic bags occurred for many years. Now, in most states,  there is a safe haven. Estimates indicate that over 600 children a year are abandoned in the United States.
I’m curious to know if our high schools provide  safe haven information for teens, the young girls most likely to find themselves in a situation with an unwanted pregnancy and the terrifying prospect of limited choices.   It doesn’t have to happen – it is heart breaking.  Abandoning a newborn to the elements is  almost sure death for the infant and a crime.
A Safe Haven facility in California is: Any Hospital, Staffed 24/7 Fire Rescue Station, or Staffed 24/7 Emergency Medical Service Station, with no questions asked, totally anonymous, free from fear of prosecution…… A compassionate approach that saves lives.
Safe haven laws in all states that have them are essentially the same.  They offer safe havens for newborns, and they offer:
  • Privacy No one will ask your name.
  • Legal You will not be breaking any laws.
  • Safe Your baby will be given medical care and placed in a good home.
  • Supportive You will be offered medical care and counseling.
I was glad to see the sign and hopefully, the word is out to every teen or young mother faced with the uncertainty of an unwanted pregnancy.
While waiting for my test, someone considered the soothing effect of an aquarium.  It is endlessly fascinating to watch fish swim about and temporarily remove troubling thoughts.


Life is good.

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