It didn’t have to happen this way.
A 22-year-old Augusta woman told police early Wednesday she found a newborn baby at the Masonic Temple on Wrightsboro Road. But after deputies’ questioning, the truth came out.
She didn’t find the baby wrapped in towels behind the building, and her name wasn’t Tiffany Brown, as she told authorities. Cierra Y’Kesia Simms gave birth to the baby in her nearby apartment just two hours before contacting police. Ms. Simms created the foundling story because she already has a 3-year-old, and she felt she couldn’t take care of her new baby. Mother and child were then taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center.
Charges won’t be filed, nor should they. Mothers who leave their babies with medical facility employees within seven days of birth are protected under Georgia’s Safe Haven Law.
Thank heaven this young mother gave birth instead of having an abortion. But how sad Ms. Simms didn’t know about the many safe havens that could have helped her. There are many, many resources and services in the CSRA that are here to help pregnant women and new mothers just like Ms. Simms cope with the challenges that come with bringing a new child into the world.
We’ll name just one: Augusta Care Pregnancy Center. Its Nurturing Place offers infant-care classes that reward pupils with vouchers for diapers, baby clothes, baby furniture – virtually anything a mother would need for her new child.
The center’s parenting classes offer guidance on a variety of subjects, including household budgeting on a low income. Even homeless mothers can find secure shelter through Augusta CPC. Adoption, as well, can be arranged.
Help for crisis pregnancies is available at the CPC 24-hour hotline, 706-724-FREE. To inquire about other social agencies’ services, just dial 211 on your phone.
There are kind people who understand Ms. Simms’ struggle, and they are eager to help.
This young mother needlessly stumbled her way to a happy ending. But it must be said that the child’s near-abandonment is a dismaying reflection of the rudderless, anything-goes culture that contributes so heavily to society’s decay.
Truly, it doesn’t have to happen this way.