A Roman Catholic church in Japan created a baby hatch where mothers could ‘drop off’ their unwanted babies knowing that the wee ones will be cared for and that the mothers will not be prosecuted. I think it is a fantastic idea. Desperate women need a not-so-desperate way of saving their babies. Seriously. I’ve heard horror stories of babies being dumped into dustbins. As if they were trash! I’m not pro-life. I’m not anti-abortion. I don’t support abortions either. I understand that there are certain medical neccessities, and I also understand that its the right of a woman to decide what she wants to do with her body, and with her life and as long as the fetus is growing inside of her, she has the right to decide what she wants to do. That said, I don’t think that bringing a child into this world is an easy feat, caring for one isn’t easy either. Between NOT bringing a child into this world, or knowing the child will enter the ‘system’ and be forever lost into it, sometimes, its hard to decide which is least evil.
Before I decided on Pediatrics, I thought I was going into Medicine, with a focus on Woman’s Health. My reasons were simple: My aunt, who passed away when I was 14, was physically abused by her then husband. By the time she decided to leave him, she had been beaten up several times. When she was younger, my mom and her used to be beaten up by their eldest brother too. Its unconfirmed, but we all suspect that he may have sexually abused her as well. It seemed like the cycle of abuse would never end. I don’t think I ever properly grieved for her. Yes, I was sad she died. But I think I was affected more by my mother’s outpouring of grief. In many ways, I don’t think I ever properly buried her. And then when I was in college, I volunteered with TurnAroundInc, a non-profit, that tried to help women who were sexually abused and/or assulted. It strengthened my conviction that in order to bury my aunt and to honor her properly, I had to be part of the cure. Ignoring the fact that hundreds, no thousands of women are abused everyday was not part of the cure. To be a part of the cure, I had to be at the frontlines. Education and medicine were the two ways in which I was going to help. And then I went to medical school. I joined the YWCA. Again, I was frustrated at my inability to help. I always felt as if I was not doing enough. During my third year rotations, I met a woman, a girl younger than me, who had a little 4year old with severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy. They affected me greatly. She was a young mother who got pregnant, and if not for the support of her own mother, she would probably not have been able to take care of her own little girl. Not only was she taking care and loving a very very sick child, she was attending school as well because she knew that in order to provide the care her daughter needed, she needed a good education, one that would allow her to make a good living. In the neonatal unit, I saw abandoned babies. Healthy babies whose mothers simply walked out of the hospital. A little girl caught my heart. I wanted to adopt her. The nurses were simply amazed the baby wasn’t addicted to coke. I was simply amazed at how happy the little tyke was and how innocent she was and saddened with the knowledge that she would soon enter the ‘system’ and soon her innocence would be lost. If I could, I would have adopted her.
I am going into pediatrics because I have seen many young teenage girls getting pregnant, and giving birth to babies when they themselves are still babies. In all honesty, I really do think that this baby hatch isn’t a bad idea at all. At least it provides a safer alternative, a way out.