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Georgia House OKs newborn abandonment Saturday, 4 March 2000 0:46 (ET) Georgia House OKs newborn abandonment

ATLANTA, March 4 (UPI) -- The Georgia House voted 153 to 15 Friday to allow parents to abandon infants at a hospital emergency room up to one week after they are born.

State representative Lynn Smith, the chief sponsor of the bill, said babies sometimes die because they are abandoned in exposed locations behindgarbage cans or recycling bins.

"The idea is to save babies, to provide a safe shelter for babies of mothers in crisis," Smith said.

"This is not wholesale legal abandonment," she said. "Instead, think of it as newborn rescue."

Infants would have to be left in the custody of a staff member of a medical facility. The facility would notify the state, which would take custody when the baby is healthy enough to be discharged.

The bill says that infants cannot be more than a week old and cannot have been physically abused.

State representative Tracy Stallings argued against the measure, saying it legally sanctioned the abandonment of newborn infants, whatever the reason.

"We live in a throwaway society. We eat off paper plates and throw them away. We use plastic knives and forks and toss them away. And now, in this year 2000, we are incredibly talking about throwaway babies," Stallings said.

"We're setting up a system of abortion without death or guilty feelings,"he said.

Dr. Robert Jones, chief executive officer of the Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., said the measure "could magnify a problem we as a society already have."

If approved by the state Senate and signed by Georgia's governor, the measure would exempt parents from prosecution if they leave their newborn baby at a hospital.

Existing law allows parents to be charged with abandonment or child cruelty. They can be charged with murder if the child dies.

-- Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

-- mike in houston (mmorris67@hotmail.com), March 04, 2000


As awful as it sounds, it is still certainly preferable to having unwanted babies abandoned in say..a garbage can.

-- kritter (kritter@adelphia.net), March 04, 2000.

May God continue to have mercy on us.

As I read things like this, I fear His patience must be almost exhausted.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), March 04, 2000.


If you continue to put hare-brained safety nets under people, you just ENCOURAGE their risky behavior by allowing them a relatively easy way out. What REALLY amazes me is that the vote was 153-15. Only 15 people out of 168 had the sense to see how insane this is. As I said before, may God have mercy on us. We obviously don't deserve it.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), March 04, 2000.

Since the majority was 153, it sounds to me like there were 153 compassionate people concerned with babies in trash cans. The other 15 were probably more concerned with "encouraging risky behavior." (not that risky behavior wouldn't occur anyway)

I really don't feel God needs a spokesman to intrepret his/her/its wishes, but if I were betting, I'd say that a forgiving God would have infinite patience with the follies and foibles of human beings and come down on the side of the babies.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), March 04, 2000.

Well said gilda. I would agree.

-- Debra (forthe@babies.com), March 04, 2000.

"If you continue to put hare-brained safety nets under people, you just ENCOURAGE their risky behavior by allowing them a relatively easy way out."

J, does making cars safer with airbags, seat belts and better impact designs make people in general drive more irresponsibly and have more accidents? Well it might, if you're talking about the more inexperienced and irresponsible younger crowd. But that same crowd is not detered to drive drunk and/or more irresponsibly without seat belt laws and in cars without airbags.

Same applies to unwanted pregnancies. Having access to birth control or not does not deter the kind of irresponsible young women who do this horrandous thing as putting babies in trash cans to get rid of them. Before more laws of "child neglect" and "abandonment" were made, those women for centuries dropped their unwanted pregnancies at churches and orphanages anonymously. Probably doing that sounded horrandous to good people back then, but now that these women can't even do that they resort to trash cans.

You can't change human nature with laws. You can change behavior with education though.

-- Chris (@#$%@pond.com), March 04, 2000.

I hate issues that aren't black and white.

On one hand, I can certainly see why making it easier for someone to not to put a newborn in a trashcan is a good idea.

On the other hand, at what point do we absolve everyone of all responsibility for their actions?

I guess I'd probably be one of the 153 that voted yes but I wouldn't feel very good about it.

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), March 04, 2000.

It's just so sad to think of giving up a baby-whether from the womb in abortion or giving him or her into the care of strangers. I sure don't judge, I'm just thinking about the feel and scent of each child and grandchild. My mother lost an infant to death when I was five . She told me once the worst thing was FEELING the emptiness in her arms. The women confronted with these decisions have my prayers and sometimes my tears. I wish life were easier.

-- little wifey (littlewifey@home.com), March 04, 2000.

Just read recently that in Gainesville, GA, police were called about an abandoned baby. When they arrived, the baby had been mauled by dogs in someones back yard. Apparantly, it had been out there a couple daze. The coroner had a hard time determining if the infant was actually human.

Mother claimed it was a stillborn. Autopsy, could not confirm - so no charges were filed.

Can't legislate morality. Better to give the baby to a hospital. Although, I didn't like the "healthy" aspect of acceptance.

Could develop into white babies only - gov't funded market for infertile couples ------nasty business any way you look at it.

-- (doomerstomper@usa.net), March 04, 2000.


First off, if you would bother to read the bible, you would know that God is very patient, but not infinitely patient. He wants no person to perish, but for all to come to Him. There is coming a time when your window of opportunity to find grace through His son, Jesus Christ, will close, either because of His return or your own mortality.

Secondly, this is not about compassion. We are all called to have compassion on our fellow man. This is about the government sanctioning wrong(i.e. sinful) behavior. The compassion for an unwed mother should come primarily from her family, then also from her church, neighborhood, and community. Historically with that compassion has come the admonishment of her wrong behavior, and the societal pressure against that wrong behavior. The government isn't very good at the compassion business, mainly because there is no accompanying admonishment of the wrong behavior. Thus there is no societal pressure to discourage further wrong behavior. That is why we have 3rd or 4th generation welfare recipients.

In the shortsighted attempt to offer an "it's for the baby" solution, they fail to see the ramifications to the rest of society, let alone to the mother and child. We, as a society, have smaller families than we would like to have because our tax burden is so heavy that we can't afford to have another child. The mother is stuck in a place where she is unable to support herself and her child(ren). The children grow up impoverished and without a father to love them and guide them in the process of growing up.

Allowing a mother to abandon her newborn at the hospital is akin to calling in sick for a drunk so that he won't lose his job. You are not solving the problem, you are just removing the consequences and enabling the wrong behavior to continue.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), March 04, 2000.

What's God's return policy on teenagers?

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.thingee), March 04, 2000.

I would also have voted to eliminate punitive measures against someone who decides to relinquish an infant to the hospital. Human nature never changes. Why penalize a newborn with unnecessary death?

There will always be a need for orphanages, foster homes etc. Should we eliminate those to discourage irresponsible adults? The crux of the matter is whether or not the innocent newborn babies should pay with their lives in order to uphold the principle of 'responsible behavior'. Not with my vote.

-- Mumsie (shezdremn@aol.com), March 04, 2000.


I agree to a certain extent that you can't legislate morality. What I am against is legislating immorality, which is what you do with this type of law.
I don't want a law that says you can't have sex outside of marriage (although I think it is wrong behavior to do so); even moreso, I don't want a law that says that if you do have sex outside of marriage, that I, society, or your unborn child has to bear the consequences.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), March 04, 2000.

There's the crux J. Can't close the barn doors no matter how much legislation is passed. We've been funding condoms and abortions for how long? Not only are we told what to accept or we are deemed "phobic", but we have to pay regardless of our beliefs.

I cringe at our reckless gov't. Excusing the behavior really does encourage more of same. Unfortunately, I see society waxing worse and worse with no end in site. *Conscience* is fast becoming non-existant in society.

Will just have to see how this new law plays out. Better'n dogfood, but not the cure.

awh hell!

-- (doomerstomper@usa.net), March 04, 2000.

First, I've read the Bible more than you would probably suspect. And I do not recall asking you for a sermon. You worry about your window of opportunity to find grace, and I'll worry about mine.

Second, if this isn't about compassion, then I missed the point. Frankly, I wish they'd use birth control and never have the babies in the first place, if they aren't willing to care for them. But the babies shouldn't suffer because of irresponsible mothers and nonexistent fathers. And by the way, the fathers get off scot free in these situations.

And the tax burden for welfare recipients is a drop in the bucket compared to the corporate welfare given to companies in the form of tax breaks, subsidies and millions for overseas advertising to promote their products.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), March 04, 2000.

The article said,

"The idea is to save babies, to provide a safe shelter for babies of mothers in crisis," Smith said.

"This is not wholesale legal abandonment," she said. "Instead, think of it as newborn rescue."

One could say the same about abortion. Why not deliver the babies at the state's expense? At least they wouldn't be killed. OTOH, What's the difference between killing a 3rd trimester, viable, baby and killing a one week old? If you are going to allow one, why not the other?

Maybe you cant *legislate* morality, but culture can dictate it. Our culture has been spinning farther and farther out of control since the 60s people got in to power. Hopefully, their influence can be reversed. (All of this is IMHO of course!)


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), March 04, 2000.

Recent article int he Oregonian on how Oregon Fish & Wildlife encourages runs of hatchery-spaawn salmon for harvest of the fish eggs; but when they reach a certain limit, they club all the remaining salmon to death -- by the thousands upon thousands. ODF& W workers (naturalists, aninmal lovers, biologist) wade into the streams with bats and WHM! WHAM! WHAM! Highly controversial. the idea is to protect WILD FISH RUNS by limiting hatchery runs: making htem only "partially" successful. Nothin like manipulating nature: there's no way to end the false equation of "GOOD INTENTIONS = GOOD DEEDS".

Here too, laudable intent to save children; IDIOTIC public policy to auhtorize /legalize abandonment. Will lead to utter disaster .....

-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.cellrelaytower), March 04, 2000.

I am an animal lover and I would NEVER do such a sick thing. Don't judge all by the actions of few.

As far as the babies...I think perhaps we have seen one-too-many teen mothers kill their newborns out of fear that their parents and classmates will find out. This would give them an option out of the "unthinkable" and possibly save the lives of many children.

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.com), March 04, 2000.


How to get to the practical heart of the issue! Are you an engineer? I never had kids because I had no way to send them back if I changed my mind. There wasn't even a 3-day "cooling off" period during which I could return them no questions asked. Much less any warranty.

I like this return policy, everything considered. If I ever decide I want a baby, I'll just dot over to Georgia and do it the easy way. Does the State keep them, or auction them off? What return policy does Georgia have if you adopt and change your mind? Any grace period? If you return teenagers, do you get paid appreciation or have to pay depreciation?

The administrative details will be interesting to watch.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), March 04, 2000.


A couple of people on this thread have alluded to the fact that you can't change human nature, and now you state that we have seen one too many teenage mothers kill their babies. I would like to know when it became human nature for a mother to kill her own child?

I would venture that this is the result when the highest court in the land rules that it is OK to kill unborn babies. As the populace slowly gets accustomed to killing unborn babies, it is a short step to killing those that have already been born.


About my sermon, when someone offends me by referring to God as he/she/it I want to give the benefit of the doubt and believe that you are ignorant of who God is instead of that you are intentionally blaspheming the Lord. Since you have claimed to have read the bible, I guess it is the latter.

As far as welfare being a drop in the bucket compared to "corporate welfare", do you have any figures to back that up, or are you just regurgitating something that you heard one of your favorite liberals say? You really have to be careful quoting liberals, as I once heard one say that he "did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky". Well, I am sure you know how that turned out. Anyhow, regardless of the numbers, welfare is an EXPENSE, while a tax break to a corporation is a reduction in INCOME. It should be obvious how they differ, but not everyone can think clearly enough to see that, I guess.

In closing, I am very leery of more legislation that is, "for the children", when all of the previous legislation aimed at the problem has made things worse, not better. If a family member or neighbor or friend finds themself in this situation, please show them the compassion that they deserve by helping them financially, emotionally, and physically. Just don't neglect to lovingly rebuke them for their mistake and hold them accountable, lest it happen again.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), March 04, 2000.


You are absolutely right. It HAS happened. Sad

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.com), March 04, 2000.


Read "Women Who Kill," by Ann Jones.

-- firefly (forest@calm.dot), March 05, 2000.

J, As I said on an earlier post, I think that all religious beliefs, and there are thousands, are valid to people worshiping their particular belief. I am not a Christian, but I do believe in a higher power. And I certainly don't think that anyone who is not a Christian is doomed. For as Jesus said, "Other sheep I have that are not of this fold." Check the Bible, it's easy to find.

I think you took offense, where no offense was intended. I do not feel that "she and it," is blaspheming anyone. But then I certainly don't intend to carry on a long, drawn out conversation on religion. In some religions she is not blaspheming.

Speaking of corporate welfare, now you are being offensive by suggesting that I am "just regurgitating something you heard one of your favorite liberals say?" Hardly. Clinton and the Republican Congress cut the welfare to the poor and gave it to corporations.

You want statistics you got 'em. Here's corporate welfare for you. In 1997, at the time of the welfare cuts to the poor, the government spent $65 billion more, each year on assistance to American business. Here are a few examples. Advanced Technology Program: $225 million to such as IBM, Dow Chemical, and Xeros for research.

Market Access Program: Campbells Soup, Purina, Gallo Wine millions to promote goods overseas: 1 million to promote popcorn sales. $125 milion to promote frozen bovine semen and $120 mil promoting alligator hides.

Overseas Private Investment Corp: Million to sugar, tobacco and utilities to invest in developing countries. One year Gallo Wine alone received $24 million.

$250 million tax dollars increased the profits of Getty Oil, Pacific Power and other by allowing them below-market fees to use public lands that belong to the taxpayers.

Over 3 billion in five years benefited timber and forest companies; Weyerhauser and Georgia Pacific to build roads for company use and provide huge tax breaks for the industry. Loggers saw little of this largess.

ADM is queen or corporate welfare, receiving numerous government subsidies. The ethanol subsidy is enormous. Analysts say that every dollar of ADM's profit from corn sweetners ultimately cost taxpayers $10 in sugar subsidies.

McDonald's, Pillsbury, ConAgra, Tysons Foods are a few who benefit from the corporate welfare programs. Suniist has received over $78 million since 1986 to promote oranges in Asia.

And crime is rampant by these spoiled corporations. Big oil pulled off a huge cover-up shortchanging the government (taxpayers) out of $100 million by underpricing its production reports for crude oil they pumped from reserves on public land. Chevron, Mobil, Amoco, Conoco and Occidental all are supposed to pay millions in fines, but no criminal penalties. They say it was bookkeeping mistakes.

How about $278 million in technology subsidies to Amoco, AT&T Citicorp, DuPont, GE, GM, IBM; Exxon claimed $300 mil in tax Deductions for settlement of the Valdez spill.

The list goes on and on--Dole, M&M Mars, Walt Disney, $300,000 one year to perfect fireworks displays, Martin Marietta $27,000 to pay for golf balls and an office Christmas party, the National Meat Ass'n., Union Carbide, Phillip Morris, RJR Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Maxwell House, Kool-Aid, Jell-O, Miller's beer all contributors to soft money in campaigns, on and on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Keep in mind, I've barely touched the surface.

And here's a list of my "favortie liberals," from whom I get my information. The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Scripps Howard New Service, Multi-National Monitor, Predators: The Hunt for Mega-Profits and the Attack on Democracy, Tyranny of the Bottom Line, The Corporate Crime Reporter, The Washing Spectator, the National Taxpayers Union, the Corporate Welfare Project, the book, Downsize This!, by Michael Moore, The Cato Institute, Common Cause, In Fact--The Human Toll of Corporate-Influence Peddling, etc., the list goes on.

I also have a list of all Republicans and Democrats and how much they get each year in PACs. Need more, I got it. I don't write one single word concerning corporations that I can't back up with sources. I write a column, and I have to be prepared to prove my words.

It would be nice if family, neighbors, or friends helped in these situations, but often they don't know about it until it's too late. Also, most people don't want to get embroiled in this sort of thing because of our litigious society. Better the government throw money to help these babies and girls, than throwing it at golf balls and bovine semen.

By the way, you didn't address my comment about the fathers always being long gone in these sad situations. Don't they have a responsibility????

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), March 05, 2000.

"I would like to know when it became human nature for a mother to kill her own child?'

It has never 'not' been. History sadly bears this out. Put certain individuals/human beings in certain circumstances of duress and/or temptation, and you will find inhuman behavior since the Beginning. I'm not excusing or condoning. I am personally against abortion as an option unless it is to save the life of the mother, and I do feel that condoning it as an option for birth control (for that is truly the bulk and gist of it) creates new problems and a trend to a throwaway culture and society. I believe in the sanctity of life, and yes, particularly human life. I don't put animals on the same level as humans, but I believe that animals also should be respected and cared for...the concept of stewardship. I believe that the Creator will have accountability for all facets of this stewardship. Many inhuman acts have been perpetrated in the name of Christianity, but also in the name of any other belief you could think of. "Love thy neighbor as thyself"...."Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".... these are the precepts and foundations of our Creator. Sometimes the atrocities are motivated by misguided fervor, but more often than not, I suspect that there is simply a 'label' for a 'cause' slapped on to whatever will excuse or justify the most base aspect of humanity. I do believe in the exclusionary aspect of Christianity, but not in the way that most might. I believe that Christianity is God.... revealed... and that it behooves one to examine carefully the Messenger. In other words, don't throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater of human perversions of religion. I also believe that God will be the Judge, and ultimately He knows who belongs to Him. It is tempting to run to the security of a box in any religion.

Returning to the subject of unwanted babies, I believe that their best interests should rule. Life is too precious to not be respected, nurtured, and sustained. All deserve their shot at it, and it is a dangerous 'slippery slope' to begin to pick and choose who is worthy and who is not. If you begin to name all the 'unworthy' candidates, be careful to remember that there are always exceptions.... even to your standards. Can you judge the worth of one 'exception' to any standard of worth? I know that I cannot.

There should be a way for mothers to relinquish their babies without punitive measures. Otherwise, the babies will continue to pay with their lives.

Regarding fathers... I agree with gilda that they should not get off scot free. I also believe that there should not be double standards. So although I disagree with abortion, I have often felt that fathers should have the same 'right' to choose. Those who biologically father a child should be able to sign a paper relinquishing all rights forever (during the pregnancy) if a woman 'chooses' to have a baby. Why should women be the only ones to 'choose'? Don't bother with the "Then they shouldn't have sex" argument, because it should apply equally to both sexes.

Meanwhile, little people should not have to pay for the weaknesses, foibles, inconsistencies, and selfish acts of big people.

-- Mumsie (shezdremn@aol.com), March 05, 2000.

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