Moms who abandon babies ‘need compassion, not charges’

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Moms who abandon babies ‘need compassion, not charges’

Neonaticide – killing a baby within 24 hours of birth – is rife, but the solution is not as simple as prosecution

Journalist

When the body of a newborn boy was found on a pile of refuse in a field near Rustenburg recently, he became yet another victim in what researchers are calling a crisis that is “global in its reach but local in its expression”.

Neonaticide – killing a baby within 24 hours of birth – is rife in SA and, according to an international study just published in the Archives of Women’s Mental Health, “accounts from women convicted of neonaticide emphasised the shock of an unintended pregnancy with which they had to cope alone”.

Birth too was “solitary”, and some of the women did not know they were pregnant until the moment of birth...

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