A baby girl in Germany faced a harrowing experience during her first moments outside the womb when her mother tried to strangle her and flush her down an airport toilet.
The Daily Mail reports the infant girl survived, and her mother recently was sentenced to five years in jail for the crime.
The baby’s mother, referred to only as Soraya Y., 24, gave birth to the baby girl in an airport bathroom after flying into Munich, Germany on July 30, 2015, according to the report. Authorities said the woman tried to strangle her newborn daughter with the umbilical cord and then flushed her down the toilet.
Five minutes later, someone discovered the baby girl still alive and wedged in a pipe in the toilet, according to authorities. She was rushed to the hospital where her temperature registered at just 26 degrees Celsius (78.8 F), but doctors managed to save her life, the report states.
Police later found the mother and charged her with attempted murder, according to the report. Klaus Kurtz, the prosecuting attorney in the case, said Soraya Y. told four different stories to authorities, including a lie that she didn’t notice that she had given birth. She pleaded not guilty.
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Her baby girl is being taken care of by foster parents, according to the report.
In the U.S., Safe Haven laws have protected hundreds of newborn babies from potentially similar fates. All 50 states have laws to protect newborn babies from abandonment. Safe Haven laws vary from state to state but typically allow mothers who cannot care for their newborns for whatever reason to leave them at a hospital, fire station or police office without legal consequences.
These laws have helped to save hundreds of babies’ lives. One example is young Halle Burke from Colorado, whose mother placed her in the hands of two firefighters after realizing that she could not care for her.
In February 2003, Halle’s mother knocked on the door of a fire station in Westminster, Colorado. CBS Denver reports an engineer named Tom O’Neill answered the door. He said, “Out on this side of the door there was just a couple there and they handed me a baby.”
Halle explained that her mother’s choice was incredibly brave. She said, “…A lot of women, people, who are afraid to have babies and when they do they make bad choices about it, but my tummy mommy made a really, really good choice.”