There's safety in knowledge

There's safety in knowledge

A safe-haven "baby box" in Benton, Arkansas.

There's safety in knowledge

A recent tragedy in New Mexico could have been avoided, says a pro-life group, if people were more aware of safe-haven laws.

Abandonment of newborns has become a problem, as exemplified last week in the southeastern city of Hobbs. In that incident, a young teen mom evidently felt she had no choice but to abandon her newborn baby in a trash dumpster. Her actions were caught on video. Passers-by heard the baby's cries and rescued him.

The 18-year-old mother has admitted she discarded the baby in a dumpster, and she's been charged with attempted murder and felony child abuse. At last report, the infant – who was airlifted to Lubbock – is in stable condition.

AFN talked to Elisa Martinez of the New Mexico Alliance for Life, who says the tragedy is becoming more normalized in a society that doesn't value life.

Martinez, Elisa (NM Alliance for Life) Martinez

"And we know that here in New Mexico," she shares. "This is the late-term abortion capital of the nation – so that permeates into the culture and …[now] we've seen [this] incident in Hobbs."

Martinez explains why the situation should not have happened. "We do have [in our state] what's called a safe-haven law, where a mother who doesn't feel like she can keep her baby can actually turn over that baby up to 90 days of [the child] being born and leave the baby with a hospital, fire station, or police station." The mother, in accordance with the safe-haven law, can do so anonymously.

Safe-haven laws currently exist in all 50 states. A problem, however, is that it has received only minimal publicity – so many people aren't even aware they have that choice.

Fox News reported on Wednesday that another New Mexico city has announced it is preparing to install a "baby box" where infants can be safely surrendered. That device – which would be the first of its kind in the Land of Enchantment – could be operational in Española as early as March.