Before abortion was legal in our country, young women and their families were ashamed of being pregnant out of wedlock, because having sex outside of marriage was still viewed as a negative choice by the culture. If you became pregnant in 1965 and you were not married, you usually went to visit “an aunt” for about 7 months. Your baby many times was whisked away directly after labor without you even seeing or holding her, and was in the immediate custody of the state or adoption agency awaiting adoption. You then returned home alone and with a deep dark secret that you and immediate family members told no one. Many women who gave birth this way, describe years of pain over a secret kept and feeling pressured to make an adoption decision they did not want.
With the onset of birth control and legal abortion, the sexual revolution was ushered in with a tidal wave. Today, most young women are no longer “ashamed” that the pregnancy reveals that they were sexually active, instead they feel ashamed they were stupid enough to get “caught”. And for some young women, they are in such crisis over the possibility of a pregnancy, they deny the symptoms and wrongly believe it will simply “go away” until it is too late. Some might be fearful that the father of the baby is not their current boyfriend/partner and the baby will be proof of infidelity, some are being physically threatened by the father of the baby. There could be a number of reasons a women denies or suppresses her pregnancy for nine months, and is now in deep crisis. The nature of the crisis, in their minds, demands that they hide and remain anonymous. This could be what drives some women to do the unthinkable… to abandon their newborn in a park, in a dumpster or by the side of a highway.
My deep desire is that no child die, either by chemicals, by being torn apart in her mothers womb and sold for spare parts, or by being abandoned in a dumpster. When we succeed in making chemical and surgical abortion illegal in this country, there will still be some (and possibly more) women who conceal their pregnancy until birth and become desperate enough to consider the latter option. We must have a safety net, a way for these few desperate women to find a way out of their crisis that does not involve the death of their child. This is why Safe Havens and the added insurance of a baby box that allows complete anonymity, need to be in place and operating. Women need to know BEFORE they are in deep crisis, that this option exists and that they can relinquish their baby with no names, no blame, no shame.
Let me be perfectly clear, I am against the killing of babies, period and in all circumstances. I am praying for the day that no child will die for the convenience or emotional well-being of his mother or the crime of her father. Killing babies inside and outside of the womb is murder, period. We have done an amazing job of reaching out to women in crisis with thousands of Pregnancy Care Centers across this country and around the world. These amazing centers are helping young women every day, physically , emotionally and spiritually. The staff and volunteers give of the themselves tirelessly for every young woman and her baby, lives are being saved! They are truly “loving them both”. The Safe Haven Law is in place, not because we don’t think women should be helped before the birth of their child, not to “replace” the work of thousands of pregnancy centers across the nation, not because we don’t believe a young woman who has just given birth alone and afraid does not need help. It is in place because no matter how good our efforts are BEFORE we get to the point of birth, some women will not avail themselves of the help offered. For reasons we may never know, they did not take the help freely offered to them up to that point. The Safe Haven Law gives them one more emergency option to drop their newborn off at a fire station, police station or hospital and hand that baby safely to a professional without being prosecuted. And yet, even with this safeguard, experience tells us that there will STILL be a few who just cannot handle the face to face interaction. It is still too difficult and even with all the help available to them, still choose to abandon their infant to the elements and risk their death. The Safe Haven Baby Box is that final attempt to give her one more option. The option of safely relinquishing her infant without the face to face interaction. Maybe, just maybe this is the only option a few women will choose instead of abandonment.
In a perfect world, no one would have sex outside of marriage or ever find themselves experiencing unwanted pregnancy. In a perfect world, no one would ever consider chemically aborting or surgically aborting their unborn child. In a perfect world no one would have the legal RIGHT to kill an unborn child in the womb. In a perfect world, every woman experiencing a crisis pregnancy will walk into a pregnancy care center and get the help they need for themselves and their baby. When abortion is finally illegal in this country, there will certainly be more women in crisis who will need the services of these centers, and we must be ready. Crisis Pregnancy Centers will not cease to exist because abortion is no longer legal, in fact they know that their work will increase and be even more necessary. When abortion becomes illegal, we must have a safety net in place for those few women who are in denial and hiding their pregnancy in desperation. There won’t be fewer of these women, there will certainly be more.
Until then, we must do everything in our power to save every life and help every mother in crisis. We are committed to providing that last line of defense for the very desperate mother in her time of crisis. We cannot abandon her. Every mother matters, and every baby matters.