Teen Who Tried to Flush Baby in Toilet Could Have Used Safe Haven Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 3, 2013   |   12:32PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

A teenager who has been arrested for attempting to flush the body of her newborn baby down the toilet and later abandoning the child in a trash can could have given her baby to authorities under the Pennsylvania safe haven law.

As LifeNews reported, a central Pennsylvania teenager gave birth in her high school bathroom to a baby who was approximately 27-29 weeks old. She initially tried to flush the baby’s body down the toilet and, when that didn’t work, she placed the baby in the trash can and left.

Police say Cherlie LaFleur, a 19-year-old McCaskey East High School student, is responsible. She has been charged with concealing the death of a child.

Micaiah Bilger, the Education Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, says LaFleur had another option.

“If you live in Central Pennsylvania, chances are you have heard about the tragic Lancaster County incident where a teenager gave birth in a school bathroom and threw her baby in the trash,” she said today. “Officials say the baby was a boy at seven months gestation. They do not know yet whether he was born alive.”

“This story reminds me just how much we need to get the word out about the help available to pregnant women and new mothers in desperate situations,” Bilger adds. “Pennsylvania has a safe haven law to help new mothers in crisis. The law allows a woman who feels she can’t take care of her baby to drop off the newborn (up to 28 days old) at a health care facility, no questions asked.”

“Please help spread the word that help is available, whether mothers want to keep their baby, give it up for adoption, or feel they can’t take care of it,” Bilger concludes.



Here’s more on the safe haven law from a local news station:

Registered Nurse Donna Carr leads the ‘Safe Haven’ program through Lancaster General Health.

She says she knows the stress an unplanned pregnancy can bring, and in extreme cases, the danger that follows that stress. “I think the most obvious thing is denial. I’m just overwhelmed and I shutdown. I don’t tell anybody about it then when labor comes they’re in a panic.”

Mary Steffy is also a registered nurse. She says women need help for many different reasons. “Stories we’ve heard are they were scared to tell their parents. Maybe they broke up with their boyfriend and didn’t want to face the fact that they are now pregnant. Those are all things we can help them deal with through that.”