Counselor Wants Compassion For Mother Of Abandoned Baby - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

5/23/04

Counselor Wants Compassion For Mother Of Abandoned Baby

It is still unclear if the mother who abandoned her newborn baby will face criminal charges. District attorney Cono Caranna says his office will wait to take a look at all the facts before making a decision. Last week a South Mississippi Pastor found an infant boy, now nicknamed "Baby Matthew," on the steps of his downtown Gulfport church.

If the mother was desperate enough to abandon her son, counselors at one local organization say there is help available.

Last year more than 400 women went to the Pregnancy Resources of Mississippi in Ocean Springs looking for help.

Clothes, shoes, and diapers are useful, but counselor Rachel Nilsen believes when there is a pregnancy crisis, a woman also needs emotional support.

"Just to be able to reach out and talk to someone who cares who will listen to them and not judge them," Nilsen said.

The center welcomes in expectant mothers from all social and economic backgrounds from married women worried about another mouth to feed to teenagers in trouble.

"They're afraid that they're parents are going to find out that they're pregnant. They're afraid that they can't care for a child this early. They're barely grown themselves and now they're faced with this situation," Nilsen said.

It was at St. Mathew's that a newborn baby was found an abandoned. Nilsen says whoever left "Baby Matthew" doesn't deserve jail time, but compassion.

"This person, we don't know who this person is and we don't know the background but there is a real possibility that this person felt that they could not care for this child and they wanted to put this child in some good hands," said Nilsen.

"Now it would have been better if they had dropped this baby off in the care of a responsible adult but instead they just they just dropped the child there on the front steps but the did make steps to provide a place for the child," she said.

Pregnancy Resources of Mississippi got started after several churches noticed the high number of unwed mothers in Jackson County.

The non-profit organization has a 24 hour hotline for women who need counseling at

228-875-1230.

By: Danielle Thomas

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