Opinion

Safe haven laws: Because babies deserve love–not a dumpster

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This spring, a little girl in Ohio should have celebrated her first birthday. There was no party, though. Why not? Well, she wasn’t put in a hospital nursery after she was born.

She was put in a plastic bag.

Emile Weaver received a life sentence last month for the murder of her newborn. Weaver gave birth in a sorority house at Muskingum University, and then placed her daughter in a garbage bag. The story isn’t unique, as babies regularly turn up in trash bags, and dumpsters. Many don’t survive.

It is a little surreal, though: while Weaver is going to prison for killing her newborn in Ohio, New Mexico’s Southwestern Women’s Options will perform late-term abortions for women who didn’t realize how far along they were. And under state law, abortion is legal right up until birth.

But there’s another adjective for this tragedy: preventable. Across the country, Baby Safe Haven Laws offer safe places where an infant can be brought–with no questions asked.

Some states require that a baby be taken to a hospital, but most also designate police and fire stations as safe havens, too. The group Baby Safe Haven has created an interactive map that provides a summary of the specific rules in each jurisdiction. Information is also available toll-free at 1-888-510-BABY (2229).

Baby Safe Haven laws and location

Find your local Baby Safe Haven

Every baby deserves a pair of loving arms, and given the number of couples hoping to adopt, a lot of arms are waiting. You can help fill them by raising awareness of Baby Safe Haven Laws through social media, churches, civic groups or other places you have a voice.

Sadly, Emile Weaver’s daughter never had a birthday party. You can help make sure another child does.

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