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The harsh realities that can lead to abandoning babies

20 December 2016 12:30 PM
Casting moral judgement at women who feel forced into dumping their newborn babies seems easy, but there are so many complexities.

The Helderberg Baby Saver is a safe place to leave an abandoned baby based in the Western Cape, Somerset West.

Founder Sandy Immelman says communities must refrain from condemning desperate women without understanding the often underlying circumstances which lead to abandoned babies.

I refuse to stand in judgement of someone whose been forced by circumstances into a situation so dire that they see that is their only option.

Sandy Immelman, founder of the Helderberg Baby Saver

This follows after the body of a newborn baby boy was found at Somerset Mall in the Western Cape last week.

It's believed a cleaner discovered the infant’s body in a toilet, and Immelman says they have no further details as police have opened an inquest docket.

The Helderberg Baby Saver started when a baby was found by the local neighbourhood watch in 2014.

But Immelman explains that not enough organisations like hers exist in the country because of inadequate state intervention and because child abandonment is criminalised, making the nature of their work technically 'illegal'.

There so many different reasons that this is happening in our country. We can not stand in judgment if we are not providing the women out there with the education, information and opportunities they need to prevent unwanted pregnancies and provide the back-up required.

Sandy Immelman, founder of the Helderberg Baby Saver

Immelman explored some of the typical cases and scenarios which lead to abandoning babies, including rape, shame, lack of access to reproductive health and poverty.

She also unpacked the practical processes involved in her organisation and answered some callers questions.

Take a listen to her raise awareness about the subject:


20 December 2016 12:30 PM