Everyone is upset, and rightly so, about the Slidell woman who has been charged with second-degree murder and is accused of putting her newborn baby in a trash compactor. If she had had an abortion just a day before the baby’s birth, would we say she was simply exercising her constitutional right to kill her baby? That’s what the U.S. Supreme Court said in its 1973 Supreme Court decision.

Whether it is a day before birth, or a day after, the killing of a baby is a tragedy. We wish this woman and others like her would have chosen to take advantage of Louisiana’s Safe Haven Law. If someone is unable to care for their baby, they can bring the newborn up to 60 days old to an approved Safe Haven site, including hospitals, fire stations, pregnancy help centers or other locations. By leaving the baby in the care of an employee at a Safe Haven facility, parents can give up custody of the newborn with no questions asked.

A baby is a baby, whether in the womb or out, and each one of them deserves our protection.

Sandy Cunningham

communications director, Louisiana Right to Life

New Orleans