Police arrested a Louisiana woman on Christmas Eve after she allegedly gave birth to a baby girl in a Wal-Mart bathroom and then threw the baby into a trashcan.
The baby girl was discovered in a bathroom trashcan around 8 p.m. Dec. 23 in the Wal-Mart, according to the report. Emergency responders said the newborn was unresponsive when they found her, and they performed CPR before rushing her to a nearby hospital. She was estimated to be about six hours old when discovered.
Later that evening, she was listed in stable but critical condition, and was flown by helicopter to another hospital in Baton Rouge, the report states. On Tuesday, the Advocate reported the baby girl was doing better.
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“There are places all over where a person can bring a baby,” New Roads Police Lt. Shael Stringer told the station. “They can drop them off at the hospital, they can drop them off at the police department… It’s hard when people have resources in these circumstances and they choose to have the baby and leave it in the bathroom of Walmart.”
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. The woman does not have to answer questions or face repercussions as long as the baby was not neglected or abused.
Many people are not aware of these laws. Monica Kelsey is working to change that. Kelsey’s mother left her at a safe haven when she was a baby. Kelsey is one of approximately 3,000 babies who have been saved from abandonment through safe havens.
WBRZ reports the Louisiana safe haven law has helped to save 45 children from abandonment.
If you or someone you know would like more information about relinquishing a newborn child, please call 1-877-796-HOPE or go to www.SafeHavenLaw.com.