Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Crime Of No-Choice

What I'm thinking about this morning is an article in the paper. Someone left a baby in the bathroom of the hospital. "Red hair," said the paper. The baby has red hair and was wrapped in a blanket. And it's a crime because the mother (or whoever dropped the baby off) didn't report it, didn't go to the fire station or wherever it is you're supposed to go and hand the baby over. Say, "Here. I had a baby. I can't take care of it. You take it from here."

No, this person just left it in the bathroom and fled. The baby wasn't born in the hospital but was only a few hours old.
Can you imagine? Can you?
I can't.
And I am not speaking of can you imagine someone so heartless as to leave a newborn baby, no I'm speaking of what horrible circumstance must a woman have been in to have been able to do that?

Was she a young girl? Was she afraid of her parents, was she afraid for her future?
Where were her parents? What mother doesn't see her daughter growing pregnant before her eyes?
The problem I had with that movie Juno was that the girl's parents were so loving, so supportive, but they didn't offer to help her raise that baby. Of if they did, I don't remember it. If my daughter had a baby and couldn't raise it, I think (I believe) I would raise it myself and say to my daughter- this baby is here always and you are always her mother but I will do what you need me to do and I will love this child and I will help you to love her too.

But I don't think my mother would have done that. I think that if I had gotten pregnant and couldn't have figured a way out of it (and abortion was only legal in New York at the time I was young) I might have been in that much despair.

I don't know.
None of us knows and it's never fair for us to judge someone in a situation like this. A situation so grim that a woman (girl?) would abandon her newborn, redheaded baby, wrapped in a blanket in a hospital bathroom.
I suppose that in a situation that grim, it's best for the baby to be raised by someone else.
And thank God the baby will have that chance, and was not left in a dumpster somewhere to die alone surrounded by coffee grounds and old newspapers and who knows what else? The mother did that much for her child, at least. She gave the child a chance.

And they're hammering on in the Senate about Sotomayor saying once that a wise Latina woman might have more knowledge with which to judge than a white man and they're pissed that she said that but you know and I know it's true.

And what they're really saying is, "You think abortion is okay. You won't protect the unborn."
Because those white men have no idea what it feels like to know you've started a life inside of you that you are not capable of caring for. They don't. But somehow, they want to judge a woman who does know and who does know that a child, once born, needs so much more than mere breath. Health care and food and someone to watch over her and how can you watch over her when you're working a job for minimum wage which won't support the child anyway, but you have to try, and that's not fair. And it will end badly, although it never ends until that child grows up and gets pregnant and then it all begins again.

Someone left their baby in the hospital bathroom and they're talking about how it's a crime.
Oh yeah, there's a crime that's been committed here but I have a feeling it began a long, long time ago.
But that mother gave her baby a chance. She might not have followed protocol. She might not have abandoned her baby by the rules, but she gave the baby life and then she gave the baby a chance at life and we need to remember that and we need to remember that something very wrong happened in HER life for this to have been the best option for her, in her mind, still clouded by giving birth.

I am so sad about this, thinking of a woman (girl) somewhere, her milk coming in, her body still bleeding her arms so empty. Hell, I don't know. Maybe she's already back out on the street, scoring some crack.
But even if she is, there is something so wrong here that the most natural order of things was disrupted and a baby was left in a bathroom.

The crime here is that we don't take care of the born. We don't always provide for them what they need, much less what they want. Talk about the unborn and preborn all you want, but it's the born we need to think about, need to support and cherish and nurture and raise and love.

Someone did not do that for the woman (girl?) who had that baby, who took her to a place where she knew she would be found and taken care of. She left her wrapped up infant, hours old, in a hospital bathroom and walked away, in pain, I'm sure. She'd just given birth.
Unless someone else did it. A boyfriend, a mother, who?

A redheaded baby. I had one of those myself once. It was the first best day of my life. I cry everytime I think about that day. For joy.
And that is as it should be.

I don't have an ending. There is no ending. Women all over the world are abandoning babies as we speak due to circumstances beyond their control.
That's the crime. That we can't take care of all we have. That situations are so dire that a woman can abandon a baby. That sometimes the best thing a mother thinks she can do for her child is to leave it, wrapped in a blanket in a hospital bathroom.

The baby has red hair.


  1. It is so incredibly sad and frustrating to hear stories like this. Especially when I sit with my best friend while she sobs over her inability to conceive, and the huge obstacles and costs involved in adoption. She would have loved that baby to no end, given the chance. But no, that baby will end up in the foster care system for years, and then will be 'too old' for anyone to want her. I could just cry right now thinking of the waste of it all.

  2. ***SIGH***


    That's all I got.

  3. That baby has red hair and will, one day, have a name. The baby is alive and we can only help that it will know love one day. I wish you could send this post to a newspaper -- I love the way your mind works -- the juxtaposition of the judge and the baby -- well, you've written it well.

    Thank you.

  4. "Talk about the unborn and preborn all you want, but it's the born we need to think about, need to support and cherish and nurture and raise and love."

    So true.

    This story breaks my heart too.

  5. "The crime here is that we don't take care of the born." - well said.

  6. "The crime here is that we don't take care of the born. We don't always provide for them what they need, much less what they want. Talk about the unborn and preborn all you want, but it's the born we need to think about, need to support and cherish and nurture and raise and love."

  7. So true. How sad for that baby and mama. Maybe the baby will be placed with some loving parents and it will be for the best.

    How seriously retarded for them to be talking about what she did as a crime, when it is our system that is so criminal.

    Well said, Ms Moon!

  8. Rachel- They said in the paper they may place the baby in a child-care agency for direct adoption. I hope so.

    DTG- I know.

    EDP- Thanks.

    Nicol- So very sad.

    ArrrghJay- That's how I see it.

    JustMe Still- You are welcome.

    Mwa- Amen indeed.

    Lady Lemon- Again, that is how I see it.

  9. Hi there :)
    I found your blog from another--how do we ever find blogs? I can never remember.
    I just wanted to say that yours was the FIRST blog post I have read in a long time that made me stop and think about a view point different than mine. I have strong beliefs regarding abortion but was also able to sympathize with this girl and somewhat (obviously not fully) with her situation.
    Thank you for such a beautifully written post.


  10. This really moved me. It should be in the paper. I love how you get right to the HEART of the matter, which is where I think we should be most of the time.

  11. Ms. Number17- Thank-you for saying that. After perusing your profile, I would say we have a lot in common and a lot NOT in common. But it is good to open our minds, isn't it? Come by again if you feel like it. And I love your blog address.

    May- Yes. It's all about the feelings for me. Of course. I love you.

  12. Wow! What a moving post. I find myself wondering all the time about people in situations you can't imagine yourself in. I'll pray for both the mother and the child.

  13. My Dear Ms. Moon,
    I got cold chills reading this post. You are my voice of sanity in this fucked-up crazy world. You say so eloquently what I often think, and I love you.


  14. I love you. And I love my red-headed baby. And I was so shocked by that tiny blazing head that came charging in to the world off of everyone else's schedule. Where did he come from? How did he happen? I knew he must be special.
    And now you have me crying for someone else's red-headed baby. Was she surprised, I wonder.

  15. I pray that the baby gets a good and loving home and that someday he or she can find some peace with what the mother felt she had to do.

  16. Ms. Bastard- I like your brand of sanity too. You give life the touch of hot pepper and salt it needs. And I thank you for that.

    Ms. Windy- I know. There is so much of a story here and at the bottom of it, there is a baby with no mother and a mother with no baby and that is the saddest story of all.
    I love you too.

  17. "You won't protect the unborn."

    Why do the leaders of our country keep trying to pull this on us? It's clear in the Constitution that "All persons -->born<-- or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." In my mind this does not include the unborn. But I am not a lawmaker, I just follow it I guess.

    I hope that red-headed baby finds a good family. I wonder what the young girl was thinking...

  18. There's so much I could write in response to your thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I do know what it's like to be pregnant, unmarried, nineteen, and in college. It was in 1963 when we had almost no choices. I went to a Florence Crittendon Home in Chattanooga where my daughter was adopted and grew up. She's married with 3 children and lives in Signal Mtn.

    We were reunited in 2001 and have a great relationship. Here's a recent Mother's Day post if you want to read it and see photos:

    On another rant, when I retired from teaching, there were so many students who were pregnant and parents. Teenage pregnancy is epidemic and has causes that range from ignorance to poor choices to hypocritical religious influences.

    Excellent post! My experience has a happy ending but too many don't. There are so many emotions surrounding all this.

  19. I had exactly that thought after seeing the trailer of Juno. My husband and I agreed. while I wouldn't particularly chase the chance to raise my child's child while they caught up and lived their lives too, I would in a heartbeat over having my grandhcild adopted or aborted. In a flash.

  20. Moxie Mama- I know. And your prayers sure can't hurt.

    Steph- It's such a long chain of pain, isn't it? I hope what you said comes true.

    Ginger- You know I will.

    Meli- Exactly, darling girl. You're so smart. You really are.

    Ms. Joy- I read that post and commented on it. It was so beautiful and you have one of the rare happy endings I've heard from such stories. How strong you've been, how loving!
    And my mother was a teacher in elementary school for many years and she's vehemently pro-choice. She says quite plainly, "We don't take care of the ones we have."

    Ms. Jo- So many difficult decisions.

  21. That's exactly what I ALWAYS say when someone wants to start an abortion debate with me - I'm pro-choice, which means I must be pro-abortion, right?! UGH. I simply say that first, let's discuss providing rights and health and well-being for the already-born, and then you can talk to me about the unborn. The end.

  22. SJ- I don't think anyone is pro-abortion but we all have to be able to have choices. Dammit! WE DO!

  23. It's so hard to imagine the mental and emotional state this woman must have been (be) in. So sad.
    Wonderful post... as always.

  24. Michelle- That's what I keep thinking about. That woman.

  25. That is a beautiful piece of writing, and very thought provoking. I firmly believe that if you haven't done so already, you should send this piece to every senator, representative, congress member, EVERYONE on Capitol Hill and demand that they make changes for the BORN.

  26. Rebecca- Thank-you. Do I know you? How did you find me? Anyway, I appreciate what you said. I really do.

  27. I'm not too sure how I found you. Ummm, mommywantsvodka, just eat it, life happens during naptime, etc, are just a few blogs that I could have found you from.


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