Like many of you who watch or read the Montgomery, Alabama news, I was sickened and saddened by the story of a woman who drowned her newborn baby daughter in the toilet tank of a gas station on West Fairview Avenue on the morning of September 1. The surveillance video shows an unidentified woman, who appears to be pregnant, entering the service station and leaving some 40 minutes later.
When I heard this, having two children of my own, I had to think "what kind of monster would do this to a baby...what kind of monster does this to their OWN baby"...but I try not to judge people as I don't know the circumstances which led to the event. But one has to wonder how someone can put their own welfare ahead of their own child's. We've seen the 9/11 tributes the past few days which show how unselfish people can be...putting their own lives on the line for complete strangers...and police and firefighters do this nearly every day of their careers...how can someone not for a completely innocent child?
Yes, the person could have been afraid for their own life...could have been under the influence of drugs...could have been mentally unstable. We won't know until they apprehend and question this woman...but one thing I do know is that they could have taken another course of action. One that perhaps they don't even know exists. I am speaking of the "Baby Moses" or "Safe Haven" laws which many states have adopted whereby a person, usually the parent, can drop off (abandon if you prefer...I prefer "drop off") their child at a designated location, usually a hospital, police station, etc., without criminal investigation...totally without retribution. They can literally walk away...no questions asked. Ever.
That's the second thing which entered my mind when I heard this story...how much differently this ending would have been if only she had gotten back into her car and headed to a hospital. Now not only is an innocent life snuffed out...but her "life" as well. She cannot keep running...someone will find out...maybe not in a week or a month...but eventually. And even if they don't, imagine the inner turmoil of dealing with committing such a heinous act. You might say "well she's a monster...she doesn't have any remorse"...but you cannot be the judge of what a person thinks any more than I can. Please don't get me wrong...I am not at all saying any excuse she gives will be justified...and certainly nothing she or anyone says on her behalf will change the end result.
All I do know is that educating the public, thru Public Service Announcements, billboards, word of mouth, etc., might have prevented this from happening...and might prevent the next one. I don't believe, as some things I've read regarding this "drop off" system stated would lead to countless children being abandoned. I don't think they have the statistics to back that up...and face it, if someone abandons a baby...that child is most probably better off than suffering the consequences had they not. All is not 'Ozzie and Harriet' in this world...we need to educate people in that respect as well...as I believe all too well people don't necessarily turn a blind eye to the bad things...but they just don't know.
Knowing things is the key...and that key can unlock so many life-changing possibilities...but it cannot happen without someone teaching us...and I think we can all benefit from learning something...and from teaching others.
A Bit About Me
- Mariann Simms
- Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".