Advocate fears mom's arrest will deter others from using 'safe h - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Advocate fears mom's arrest will deter others from using 'safe haven' law

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Tuscaloosa Police recently arrested a woman who left her newborn at DCH because the baby tested positive for drugs. Wednesday, an advocate fears the arrest will deter addicts from doing what's best for their children.

In Alabama, a parent can legally leave a baby younger than 72 hours at a licensed hospital and walk away.

Police say that Kacie Blankenship's actions don't fall under this law because her baby tested positive for drugs. But one woman who helps addicts fears this could stop others from handing their children over to authorities and hopefully a better life.

"It is tragic that a child has to be born with drugs in their system but [Blankenship] did the right thing. There were other things that could have been worse. She could have dropped her baby off at a crack house. She could have left the baby in the street," Gloria Howard, COO of the Althea House, said.

The Althea House helps pregnant women with drug addictions. A woman at the home, who wished to not be identified, thinks this arrest will scare others.

"Women are going to be scared to go to their prenatal appointments now. It's going to get that serious," she said.

She says leaving a baby at the hospital under the safe haven law is the best thing that could have been done.

"She could have put him in a dumpster," she said.

It is unknown whether Blankenship left her baby because she thought she would be protected under the safe haven law or because she feared being arrested.

Read more about Alabama's safe haven law here: http://www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/states/alabama/

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