Authorities are investigating a case involving a newborn baby girl who was discovered in a trash can at gas station Saturday near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
CBS Pittsburgh reports the newborn girl is doing well at a local hospital. Authorities said paramedics discovered the newborn Saturday afternoon at a gas station in Belle Vernon after they arrived to treat the baby’s mother.
According to WPXI, the mother was traveling with her family on Interstate 70 when she said she felt sick and pulled over at the gas station. Authorities said the woman, believed to be in her 20s, gave birth in the gas station restroom and then told paramedics that she had a miscarriage. Later, the paramedics found her baby alive in the trash can in the restroom, according to the report.
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said the baby girl did not appear to have any injuries. Local news reports say no charges have been filed in the incident.
“Devastating, devastating. It’s awful,” Valerie Hamer, who manages a restaurant across the street, told CBS. “She could have given that baby up for adoption, or there’s so many other ways than to dispose of it in a garbage can.”
“Thank goodness it’s alive, and hopefully, someone will be able to adopt it. She’ll have a wonderful family,” Hamer added.
All 50 states have safe haven laws to protect babies from abandonment and infanticide. Save haven laws allow mothers in crisis to leave their newborns in a safe environment, such as a hospital or fire station, without questions or repercussions.
However, many people are not aware of these laws. Indiana currently is raising awareness about its safe haven law and installing safe haven baby boxes at various locations across the state. The boxes have padding and climate control, and they alert authorities when a baby has been placed inside. Several European and Asian countries have been using them for years, but Indiana is the first state in the U.S. to initiate the project.
A key leader behind the Indiana effort is Monica Kelsey, whose mother left her at a safe haven when she was a baby. Kelsey is one of approximately 3,000 babies who have been saved through safe havens. According to The Safe Haven Alliance, 13 babies in Indiana were abandoned at safe havens since the state law took effect in 2000.
If you or someone you know would like more information about relinquishing a newborn child, please call 1-877-796-HOPE or go to www.SafeHavenLaw.com.