Céad Míle Fáilte ~ A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

Here we seek a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little kindness. This blog is dedicated to peace, truth, justice and a post- industrial, post-petroleum illumined world in spite of all odds against it. I very much like the line about the ancient knight (see poem below) "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees" It is reminiscent of "beating swords into ploughshares" a sentiment I heartily approve of. Thank you for visiting ~ I hope you return!

Waterfall Animation Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

He Ain't Heavy....Oops, Maybe He Is...

Nicolas Poussin. Pharaoh's Daughter Finds Baby Moses. 1638. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France.

The inscription on the world famous statue at Boys Town, Nebraska and well known Hollies pop song goes "He ain't heavy, he's my brother". Nebraskans have a well-deserved image as caring for youth and going the extra mile to do what is needed for needy youngsters. Charlie and I raised our three (now adult) children here and feel strongly it is a great place to raise a family.

After several grievous baby abandonments resulting in death on the child(infants in dumpsters etc.) the Nebraska State Legislature passed a bill, the Safe Haven bill, which basically, as I understand it, decriminalizes the abandonment of children to hospital emergency rooms in the state. Nebraska's safe-haven law, which took effect in July, is the only one in the country that lets caregivers abandon children as old as 18 without fear of prosecution. As of this morning, there have been a total of 15 instances of families abandoning a child under the safe haven law. Twenty-three children have been left since Sept. 13.
Channel 7 (KETV in Omaha) has a number of articles on kids dropped off under the "safe haven" law here and here and here.

Read the AJC.com article about the mother who drove from Georgia to Nebraska to dump her son.

Gov. Dave Heineman announced today that he will call a special session to amend Nebraska’s safe haven law. The session will begin Friday, Nov. 14.
“After consulting with the Speaker of the Legislature, I am calling a special session for November 14 to correct Nebraska’s safe haven law,” Gov. Heineman said. “A proposed three day safe haven law that the legislature has agreed to will be introduced by Speaker Flood on my behalf.”
The current law which took effect in July, allows parents or guardians to drop off minor children at hospitals without fear of prosecution for child neglect.
Gov. Heineman added, “This law needs to be changed to focus on its original intent, which is to protect infants.”
I agree that the law needs to be amended, and I agree it should be very young, perhaps three weeks of age of somesuch. But what of the despairing parent with no financial resources and no support who parents a child with severe issues ~ and drops them off rather than abuses them? The despair must be extreme, to leave one's own flesh and blood like that. What a world we live in. In a more gentle age they would be called orphans and some kindly soul ~ perhaps Father Flanagan of Boys Town, Nebraska ~ unofficial patron saint of Nebraska ~ would have taken them in. When the Legislature opens its special session on November 14th, I pray that they use wisdom to decide what to do, and not simply react because the media is calling them "stupid" for passing such a bill. The law of unintended consequences was invoked, but the fallout was that of the heart. This shortsighted bill was that rarest of creatures, a large-hearted law. For that the Nebraska legislature deserves praise.


No comments: