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Mothers who leave newborns at emergency medical providers won't face charges

By Texas' Baby Moses law, you'll find a sign at every fire station across the state declaring it a 'safe baby site.' (CBS Austin)

By Texas' Baby Moses law, you'll find a sign at every fire station across the state declaring it a 'safe baby site.'

Scott Fernandes is the battalion chief over medical operations at Lake Travis Fire Rescue. "It would be important that they understand that fire stations are good places to get help," he said. "It's to create a safe haven environment for mothers with newborns less than 60 days old."

The Baby Moses law was designed to stop new moms from abandoning their infants, like what happened Wednesday morning in North Austin. Mothers who leave newborns at emergency medical providers, like fire stations and hospitals, won't face charges.

But sometimes it's not enough.

"The whole key here is accessibility, and we really need to make that accessible to people, particularly to our marginalized communities," said Mary Harris with Any Baby Can. It's a non-profit that helps parents with difficult situations, by offering parenting classes and nurse home visits, among other services.

New moms without support and resources are at high risk for problems, so Any Baby Can tries to reach out. "We know this is a public health crisis and we need to be providing support," said Harris.

But Harris and Battalion Chief Fernandes agree -- unless a mother in crisis knows what's out there to help, she won't know where to turn. "What we're encouraging people to do, and want them to understand, is that we can be their friend. We can help them during that time of crisis," Fernandes said.

Texas was the first state to pass a Baby Moses law back in 1999.

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