“I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” ~ James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son
I was surprised to learn that baby boxes, where babies can safely be abandoned, may be coming to Indiana. A bill for the establishment of baby boxes passed the House and is moving to the Senate.
I first learned of baby boxes and their long history in medieval times through a film I saw at the Heartland Film Festival in October 2014. The Drop Box is a documentary focused on a baby box established by one minister in South Korea. To help save the lives of babies who were abandoned and then froze or starved to death, Pastor Lee built a drop box for babies that he manned day and night. Whenever he hears the alarm, he rushes to the drop box to pull a baby out to the warmth of the love and care of his home.
And now Indiana may be the first state in the US to have such a box to save the lives of babies that are unwanted or cannot be cared for.
Rather than being the end of a discussion about how to solve the abandoned babies problem—as some opponents of baby boxes fear—perhaps the existence of the boxes will help foster discussion about all the financial, emotional, and societal issues that contribute to the problem. In the meantime, the boxes can help prevent the deaths of newborns.