Newborn Baby Girl in Good Health After She Was Found Abandoned on the Side of a Road

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 25, 2022   |   11:09AM   |   Cape Town, South Africa

A South African baby girl survived being abandoned on a roadside and left to die in a plastic bag, according to police.

News 24 reports police in Free State, South Africa said a local resident found the newborn infant Saturday on the side of the road between the towns of Warden and Bethlehem.

Police said the baby girl was covered with a plastic bag, and her umbilical cord was still attached.

“The baby is still at the hospital, healthy and in good condition,” Free State police spokesperson Warrant Officer Mmako Mophiring said.

Mophiring said they are investigating the case as an attempted murder, according to the report.

Infant abandonment and infanticide are problems across the world. In February, Nebraska police arrested a woman after witnesses said she gave birth to a baby boy on the sidewalk in freezing temperatures and then abandoned her child. About a month earlier, another newborn baby was found alive in a dumpster in Hobbs, New Mexico after the mother allegedly threw the child into the trash container several hours earlier.

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Many countries have laws that allow mothers to safely relinquish their infants to authorities if they are unable to care for the child themselves.

In the U.S., all 50 states have safe haven laws that allow mothers to safely surrender their newborns to authorities, often at a police station or hospital, without repercussions as long as the infant is unharmed. Typically, laws allow safe surrender in a certain time limit, such as within 30 days of the baby’s birth. Some states also have baby boxes where women can safely surrender their newborn.

Safe haven laws have saved thousands of babies’ lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Since 1999, when Texas became the first state to implement Safe Haven Laws, an estimated 4,100 infants have been safely surrendered nationwide.”

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