Department of Mass Communication, Karachi University
A tiny infant emerging from his mother’s womb, a piece of her, something she has dreamed about for a large part of her life. Childbirth can be a gratifying experience for willing parents, but what about the unwilling parents? What about the female who finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy? She has very limited options; she can be a mother, put the child up for adoption or have an abortion.
Unfortunately, people in our society engage in various types of behaviors that are risky. Safe child legislation will encourage mothers to turn their unwanted child over to the authorities, passing their responsibilities on to others with no repercussion. The television often displays abandonment as a colorful benevolence of a mother expressing love for the child. She puts the child in a basket lined with soft blankets, the child is smiling or sleeping peacefully. She kisses the child, places a note in the basket, she then places the basket on the doorstep of someone who will welcome the child with an open heart. In reality, humanity has lost its sense of value.
There are magnitudes of reasons why a woman will abandon a baby, but an increasing number of state officials have decided that the reasons are irrelevant; the answer is how can the state stop babies from being thrown into dumpsters and left to die? As per child abandonment law, how prevalent is child abandonment? Unfortunately, no one knows for sure. However, safe child legislation will give mothers an alternative to leaving their newborn child in an unsafe place.
Making available a safety net for these infants is a major concern for all humanity. Unwanted infants are wrapped in plastic and tossed out with the trash, left in dumpsters, dark closets, restrooms, and other horrific places. Their small lives have little chances to survive these elements. All people agree that such manner of attempted infanticide is devastating. No human child ought to have his or her small life ended or life fashioned from such a horrible beginning.
Many cases of abandonment are being seen by us nowadays. People mercilessly throw their innocent infants regardless of the current situation they may be in, babies born with disabilities or birth defects are also left abandoned. Some of the infants are blind or exhibit physical deformities, which can be caused by polio or malnutrition. Raising a handicapped child can certainly pose a financial hardship, but sadly, some regard deformed children as bad luck or cursed.
Children born out of wedlock are also abandoned. Since Sharia laws govern the country, under the Hudood Ordinances, sex outside of marriage is punishable by whipping, amputation, fines, imprisonment, or even death. Honor killings are prevalent in some rural communities ruled by tribal law. Human Rights Watch reports 1,000 killings yearly, while acknowledging that these statistics may be low as many cases go unreported. Children born out of wedlock are often referred to as (najaiz, meaning illegitimate). To prevent these babies from being killed, Most of the Edhi and Chippa emergency centers have a jhoola(Cradle) located outside the venue for mothers to leave around the city are posted with signs that say “To hide one sin do not commit another one.” Instead of throwing infants in dumpsters for dying just drop off your baby in those cradles, at least don’t kill them!