Teen mother leaves newborn at police station
PHILADELPHIA - March 16, 2012 (WPVI) -- Police say a new mother left her newborn with officers at a South Philadelphia precinct Friday morning.
They say it was the moral thing to do, but not quite in sync with Pennsylvania law.
Police say the young woman did the right thing when she dropped off her newborn baby at a police station Friday morning, but a state senator says both she and the police need better protection under the law.
"The baby was healthy; the umbilical cord was still attached. It is a male," said Captain Lou Campione.
The teenage mother gave birth around 4:00am Friday morning, and a few hours later took the baby to the police station at 24th and Wolf in Philadelphia.
The baby has a much better chance than baby Noel was given. The newborn girl was found in a box on the sidewalk just before Christmas. Luckily, she survived after a cleanup crew found her.
Newborns up to 28 days old a can be dropped off at what is known as safe havens, no questions asked.
"Our concern is the safety of the mother and the safety of that baby," said Captain Campione. "And she did absolutely the right thing by bringing that baby to us."
It may be the right thing to do, but it does not comply with the Pennsylvania law. The law stipulates that the baby must be dropped off at a hospital, nowhere else.
State Senator Shirley Kitchen says that has to change.
"This way, if the law is extended then they have the protection of the law the same way a doctor does," said State Senator Shirley Kitchen.
New Jersey law allows mothers to drop off newborns at police stations, as well as hospitals.
Kitchen, a ranking member of the Public Health and Welfare committee, says she will try to get Pennsylvania's law amended to allow the same.
"Most definitely, I have an interest since it has been brought to our attention," Sen. Kitchen said.
To be clear, the police will continue to provide a safe haven, if necessary. And, hopefully soon, they will have the full weight of the law behind them.
childbirth, south philadelphia, philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state, david henry
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