Six dead newborns were found abandoned in the New York City area in 2006, twice as many as in the preceding year, says the New York Times, quoting Timothy Jaccard of the A.M.T. Children of Hope Foundation. The figure does not include the baby born to a woman, 25, who smothered him on Dec. 31.
New York is one of 47 states that allow parents to leave unwanted infants anonymously sites like hospitals or firehouses without fear of prosecution under so-called safe-haven laws. Critics say that safe-haven laws, while well-intentioned, fail to tackle the root causes of infanticide because they do not reach the women who need them most. Few states have tracking mechanisms to see how well they work, or if they work at all. New York's law, the Abandoned Infant Protection Act of 2000, decriminalized the act of abandoning an infant, as long as the baby was left at a specified safe place and someone was informed. Lawmakers never mandated a measure for how many abandonments took place.