Custodians at Claflin University made a startling discovery Thursday morning when they found a baby boy abandoned and crying inside a trash bag.
Authorities with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety said they later found the baby’s mother, Amber Brianna Fulton, 19, a student at Claflin, and arrested her on charges of unlawful conduct toward a child and attempted murder. Police said Fulton also was taken to a medical facility for evaluation.
“It is something that we don’t like seeing. We’re fortunate in this incident because the baby could have been deceased. We’re very fortunate the baby is alive and doing well,” Capt. Alfred Alexander told reporters. “We’re going through a gauntlet of emotions, but we’re trying to stay focused.”
Authorities said the baby boy is doing well.
All 50 states have safe haven laws to protect babies from abandonment and infanticide. Save haven laws allow mothers in crisis to leave their newborns in a safe environment, such as a hospital or fire station, without questions or repercussions.
Children’s Trust of South Carolina Chief Communications Officer Bett Williams emphasized the importance of safe haven laws and encouraged increased awareness.
The state safe haven law is an “important safety net for people who for whatever reason need to leave an infant, because you don’t want someone leaving a baby in a dangerous place,” Williams told the Times and Democrat. “A lot of times, you don’t know the circumstances of the birth mother, or even the father, so this might also be a way to help them.”
However, many people still are not aware of these laws. Pro-life advocate Monica Kelsey, whose mother left her at a safe haven when she was a baby, works to raise awareness in her home state of Indiana and throughout the U.S. Kelsey is one of approximately 3,000 babies who have been saved through safe havens in the U.S.
If you or someone you know would like more information about relinquishing a newborn child at a safe haven, please call 1-877-796-HOPE or go to www.SafeHavenLaw.com.