Do mothers know their choices?

Three babies were found in Hillbrow on 3 March. On 18 February, a man who was rummaging through bins for recycling material at a dump site in Rabie Ridge opened a plastic bag and found a baby inside. In Alex, children discovered a dumped baby on a playground near the Helen Joseph Women’s Hostel on 5 February.

In the space of a couple of days, the count is five – five dumped babies, five wasted lives – and I wasn’t even trying to find reports. If I had done a proper investigation, the results, I fear, would have been terrifying.

With the laws in place for planned parenthood, the options teens and expectant mothers have access to, the possibility of adoption and initiatives such as the Hole in the Wall it is so sad to see babies – alive or dead – continue to be discarded like trash by members of our society.

Yes, there are people who feel they have no other choice, but there is always a choice when it comes to doing the right thing. That choice just needs to be presented to those who feel they have nowhere to turn.

While it is easy to point fingers at expectant mothers and say that they should know better – the reality is that the mothers who do this don’t feel as though they have any other options available to them. While this does not make discarding a baby right … there is a responsibility on government to educate these youngsters and step in to help where needed.

Mashadi Letwaba

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