Despite some hysterical negative public reaction to the recent Supreme Court decision regarding abortion, that court did not stop legal abortions in California. The court said that, according to the United States Constitution, the states are the proper place for this issue to be decided.
California law still allows abortion for about the first six months of pregnancy. The current limit on abortions comes with the law that says if the child would be able to live on its own with medical help, being “viable,” that abortion would no longer be legal unless the life and/or health of the mother were in jeopardy. This is the issue that Proposition 1 seeks to change.
If Proposition 1 passes in the election then, even if a child is carried for 9 months, it could be legally killed. Why a mother would want to carry a child that long only to kill it is something I find difficult to understand.
I have seen no recent media coverage regarding the Safe Surrender alternative in California. All 50 states have a comparable law. In California, a mother can bring her newborn infant within 72 hours of birth to a designated safe place, usually a fire station and often a medical facility, to surrender that child so that others can take safe care of that infant.
Since that law came into being in 2001, over a thousand babies have been saved. By contrast, of 179 babies that were simply abandoned without that compassionate alternative, over 100 died. The law had been temporary but was made permanent in 2006.
The surrender is confidential. No information is required. The mother and baby are given matching ID bracelets to reconnect in case the mother changes her mind. She has 14 days to change her mind. After that it is unlikely that she can retrieve the child. A court hearing will be held to terminate parental rights before the baby can be adopted. The mother will not receive notice of the hearing.
The mother will not be charged with a crime involving the abandonment as long as the baby was not abused or neglected. If the baby shows signs of abuse or neglect, child welfare services must conduct an investigation.
Upon the surrender of the infant, the hospital or fire station staff will take care of the baby and the mother will not be charged for the cost. The county child welfare agency will find a caring foster family to take care of the baby. In most cases, the baby will be placed with a family that is ready to adopt. Most surrendered babies are adopted very quickly.
There are numerous designated surrender sites throughout the state. North San Diego County includes sites in Fallbrook, Bonsall, Oceanside, Escondido, Vista, and other local areas. To find the nearest safe surrender site, call 1-877-222-9723. If the baby’s biological father or mother is a member of an Indian tribe or is eligible for membership in an Indian tribe, the baby may be covered under the Indian Child Welfare Act. There is a health questionnaire that the mother will be asked to complete for potential help for the baby but the information is voluntary.
For more information on what to do if you are thinking about surrendering a baby, call 1-877-222-9723 or visit http://www.babysafe.ca.gov.
California also already has contraception rights. Some Proposition 1 proponents dare to say that only by passage of this proposition will these rights be assured. Late term abortion up to 9 months is what voters are asked to decide. The only reason I can see that anyone would want this gives pause to recall the undercover filming of organizations that in the past sought to profit from the sale of body parts.
Arguments that distract and seek to convert reasoning into emotional response bring in other states’ choices that have no bearing on the decision of California voters through this proposition. Should the mother’s assumed right to kill her child who has developed enough to survive overshadow that child’s right to live?
Please vote No on Proposition 1.