A Staten Island woman is facing criminal charges this week after authorities said she gave birth to a baby girl and threw her in the trash.
The Daily Mail reports Nausheen Rahman, 28, went to the hospital on Friday, complaining of pain and bleeding. There, the New York woman told medical staff that she had given birth and her baby was dead; however, when authorities investigated, they discovered her newborn baby girl had been born alive, according to the report.
Police charged Rahman with second-degree murder on Sunday after the medical examiner determined that her baby girl was alive before being thrown into the trash, NBC 4 reports.
The New York City Police Department said officers found the body of Rahman’s newborn daughter around 11:30 a.m. Saturday in a trash bag outside of her condominium. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene, according to reports.
At the hospital on Friday night, Rahman told the medical staff that she had given birth five days ago, but her baby had died and she threw away the body, according to the report. Later, she said she gave birth on Thursday.
Initially, authorities thought that Rahman’s baby girl was stillborn and charged her with concealment of a human corpse; however, the medical examiner’s report led to the murder charge.
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Neighbors did not seem to know Rahman or her family well, according to local news reports. One neighbor said Rahman and her family had lived there for several years.
Another neighbor, Brenda Santiago told PIX 11, “So much help we have out there, and I guess she didn’t know where to go.”
While Rahman’s motives and the details of her case are unknown, her neighbor is correct about help being available. One such provision that could have helped Rahman and her baby is New York’s Safe Haven law.
Safe haven laws allow mothers who cannot or do not want to care for their newborn babies to drop them off with no questions asked at hospitals, fire stations or police stations to be cared for by authorities until a home can be found. In New York, a woman can leave a newborn up to 30 days old at a safe haven without facing any recourse, as long as the baby does not appear to be abused. Women do not need to provide their names or any other information. State authorities will care for the baby and provide medical treatment, if necessary, until a permanent family can be found to raise the child.
While it is unfortunate that many people are unaware of these provisions, safe haven laws have saved dozens of babies’ lives. In 2015, LifeNews highlighted the story of 12-year-old Halle Burke who was abandoned at a Colorado fire station when she was a newborn. The 12-year-old said she is very thankful to her birth mother for giving her a chance at life by taking advantage of the state’s safe haven law. Halle said she has a “really good life” with her adoptive family and hopes to find her birth mother someday.