Make laws to save unwanted babies

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Antigua & Barbuda is being advised to table laws that would allow parents to anonymously abandon their babies without fear of being criminally pursued.
The advice comes from two US-based non-profit organisations mere days after a dead premature baby boy, still attached to his umbilical cord and amniotic sack, was found floating in a plastic bag at Crawl Bay.
The mother is yet to be found and according to police sources, up to press time, they were no closer to finding her as they were on Wednesday when the discovery was made.
Founder and President of the Children of Hope Foundation in New York, Timothy Jaccard who helped write the first Safe Haven Law in 1998, said all other states have since followed and enacted the legislation.
“Revisit it and pass a law that would allow a woman, after she gives birth, to legally drop the baby off at a hospital, fire station or police station like we did in New York,” Jaccard told OBSERVER Radio’s Big Issues yesterday.
New York State’s Abandoned Infant Protect-ion Act allows a parent to abandon a newborn baby up to 30 days of age, anonymously and without fear of prosecution — if the baby is abandoned in a safe manner.
Jaccard, a full-time paramedic for Nassau County Police Department in Long Island, New York who works to educate and prevent the abandonment of infants, said such laws encourage women with unwanted pregnancies to carry their children full term, knowing the child would eventually be placed in a home.
Executive Chairman of the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, Dawn Geras said mothers would rest better knowing there are safe ways she can make a responsible decision for a child she may not have wanted.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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