|HOW YOU CAN HELP
This poster and bumper sticker are part of a campaign to publicize the new law in California. Materials are also produced in Spanish.
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Other ways to help
Working to Prevent Abandoned/Discarded Newborns
The Safe Arms for Newborns outreach and educational program has been created as a part of the Garden of Angels to help prevent the tragedy of newborn abandonment. California State Senator James Brulte authored and introduced SB 1368, the Save a Baby Bill into legislation. Without one negative vote it passed, and Governor Davis signed the bill into law. The law took effect on January 1st, 2001. Within 20 months of passage, 12 babies have been safely surrendered because of it. During that same period, 29 others were abandoned17 of whom were found dead.
The Garden of Angels and its Safe Arms for Newborns program is committed to prevention. An educational campaign has been launched which includes a toll-free help line, public service announcements and printed advertisements. There is also a video designed to reach out to young people in schools as they discuss life issues and teen pregnancy in the classroom. We believe that this tragedy of newborn abandonment can only be changed through education of todays students.
This new law allows mothers confidentiality with the guarantee of no criminal prosecution if their newborn child is surrendered unharmed within the first 72 hours of life. They may do this with any hospital emergency department employee in the state of California. There is a two-week cooling off period during which the baby would not formally enter the child welfare system. This allows the mother to reconsider her decision, and work to reclaim her child if she so desires. If no contact is made within this two-week period, child welfare services will begin the legal process through the courts for the baby to have a permanent home with adoptive parents.
It is difficult to sit in a courtroom and see the lives devastated by the one single act of newborn abandonment. The life and promise of an innocent child is lost forever; a young womans life is changed for all time by the deed she has done and the prison sentence she will receive; the young womans parents will lose their daughter and their grandchild. We must share the story of the children in the Garden of Angels, communicate with teenagers, and reaffirm with them that no matter what the circumstances in their lives, together we can work through them.
FUNDS ARE NEEDED TO:
Print and distribute more posters, bumper stickers and educational brochures.
Produce more videos for schools.
Purchase advertising space or time in newspapers, magazines and on the radio.