Back in 1999, German pastor Gabriele Stangl heard a confession from a woman who said she had been brutally raped, became pregnant and had a baby that she then killed and buried in the woods near Berlin.
There are a lot of women in desperate situations like these on a daily basis all over the world and Stangl wanted to do something to help. In 2000, she convinced Waldfriede Hospital to create Berlin’s first "baby box." It’s actually a warm incubator that can be opened from an outside wall of a hospital. A parent can anonymously leave an infant someplace safe. A small door opens into the box, equipped with a motion detector, causing an alarm to go off in the hospital to alert staff two minutes after a baby is left. The parent has enough time to leave without being seen.
At a meeting last month, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child said baby boxes should be banned. Human rights advocates think baby boxes are bad for children and merely avoid dealing with the problems that lead to child abandonment. I think murdering your newborn and throwing them in the trash is bad for children.
Baby boxes should be mandatory in every hospital in every country in the world. We need to make it less difficult for women who cannot raise their babies to give them to someone who can find them a good home. Does it sound like an easy way out? Maybe. Maybe it's letting irresponsible people off the hook, but the consequences are too great to ignore.
How many teens are in the news each year for killing their newborns to hide it from their parents? How many women are so overwhelmed at the thought of raising an unwanted baby that they abort? How many moms have killed their children because they just couldn't cope?
It happens all the time in the news. These baby boxes or the option of anonymous birth, if better known, could save children’s lives all over the world.
Do you think baby boxes should be banned?
Image via Nina Matthews Photography/Flickr