As I looked over the web page of the Edmonton journal an article caught my eye entitled “Edmonton Hospitals provide drop offs for for unwanted newborns”.
It would be an easy article to miss. The general idea is that two hospitals in Edmonton, both Catholic run, are making space for babies to be dropped off, no questions asked. It’s a safe place for a mom, unable to cope, to go and leave her baby safely and know it will be cared for. Will it be used a lot – doubtful – but at least it’s an option. The article quotes some critics:
“However, the idea has remained controversial, with critics arguing that such facilities help legitimize the abandonment of children and make it OK for parents to dump their responsibilities on the government.”
Here we see the issue. The language changes from abandoning children to dumping responsibility. That last shift shows the challenge of our society – we’re already dehumanizing the issue.
So why am I sharing this? The reason is simple – if we are “pro life” (note no capitals so not speaking of the organization) this is one of those moments where we have the opportunity to show support for this approach. This approach is a simple step towards saying we value all children even those unwanted. We can celebrate that there was one less abortion, and care for that child that is truly a gift from God. Being pro-life, must not mean our only stance and topic is ‘anti-abortion’. being pro-life, means we advocate for life in any form we can.
We have an opportunity to affirm this step. As we read in the news more about late-term abortion, as the discussion of post-birth abortion starts working it’s way into our culture, we need to seize every opportunity to show the value of life, not just in words, but in actions. Providing a safe place to leave an unwanted child by a mom unable to cope – is just a small step.
Knowing that there is a ‘fall back’ for the baby if the mom carries the child, might just prevent another abortion, abuse, or provide the last ditch coping mechanism for a single mom in the midst of sever post partum. Do I know that is going to happen? That these spaces will be used? No… but the potential is there. By affirming this option of providing a place to leave a baby, at the very least we’ve changed the language around from dumping responsibility to valuing life.
I’m planning to write my MLA in Saskatchewan, and ask if we have a similar program here in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and encourage this simple step to take place. What will you do when you see these steps to affirm life? Will you take the time to support and affirm these decisions? We have a chance to pro-mote life. Let’s not waste it.
p.s. found this article about where the angel cradle was used in Vancouver.