NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New legislation is being proposed which would require high schools to make it part of their public health curriculum to teach students what to do if they give birth to a newborn that they do not want.
State Sen. Eric Adams, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes are behind the measure.
Hynes said the curriculum would teach young girls with an unwanted pregnancy that “there’s a way to deal with it without getting involved with criminal conduct.”
The class would educate students about Baby Safe Haven and other programs which allow a parent to abandon a newborn, within 30 days of birth, anonymously and without fear of prosecution as long as the baby is left in a safe manner.
The parent will not face criminal charges if the newborn is brought to a hospital or staffed police or fire station.
“I can’t imagine them not opting to do that as long as they know that they don’t have to reveal themselves,” Hynes said. ”I don’t think any of these mothers intentionally kill the baby or intentionally injure the baby, they just don’t know what to do.”
The proposal comes just days after an 18-year-old mother was charged for allegedly tossing her newborn baby into a garbage chute in Brooklyn. The boy was reportedly thrown down the chute in a plastic bag and was believed to have fallen eight stories, straight into a compactor, in a building of the Walt Whitman Housing Project.
The boy miraculously survived.
Last week, a newborn girl died after she was allegedly thrown into a trash can in a bathroom at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens. The child’s mother, Dawa Lama, 23, was arrested.
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