Nothing is more innocent in this world than a baby.
Two gut-wrenching incidents in Chicago remind us of that.
An abandoned newborn who authorities believe went for over 10 hours without care was rescued by Chicago Fire Department firefighters and paramedics on May 7, and the parents, who are teens, were charged with attempted first-degree murder. First responders resuscitated the baby, who is expected to recover.
On May 16, three people were charged in connection with the murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, who authorities said was strangled before the perpetrators removed her baby from her womb.
The baby was reported to be on life support at Advocate Christ Medical Center.
Nationwide, states are generating controversy for new laws that put strict restrictions on abortions, forbidding the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy, even if the mother was raped.
The legislation has amplified the debate on a woman’s right to control her body.
People are to be reminded that Illinois has a Safe Haven Law. Babies up to 30 days old can be left with a staff member at any hospital, fire station, police station or emergency medical services provider, no questions asked; as long as the baby has not been abused, the person may drop off the baby without fear of arrest or prosecution.
Authorities across the U.S. are notified, and they check to make sure no one has reported the baby as missing.
The parents may choose to have someone bring in the infant. It can be a family member, a friend, a priest or minister, a social worker.
The abandoned newborn was taken to a firehouse by his grandmother—but, she waited too long. Only the quick actions of first responders saved the infant’s life, but he could have been dropped off sooner and in much better health.
Every state has a Safe Haven Law, including Georgia and Alabama, which recently passed the strict abortion laws.
The age that babies will be accepted varies, but if states are going to position themselves as pro-life, they need to make sure newborns have every chance at a healthy, happy life after they are born.
The Safe Haven Law enables that, and elected leaders need to continue reminding citizens that such a resource is available for people who do not feel they are ready for parenthood.