In spite of everything, the baby girl found inside a shoebox placed atop the bonnet of a car parked outside Monza’s San Gerardo hospital, has been doubly blessed: her mother brought her into this world and now many people are taking care of her. In fact, they want to adopt her. In some way, she is everyone’s child.
The thought of someone – probably the mother – leaving the child uncared for and abandoned is indeed heartbreaking. One wonders about that person’s story, their hardships, fears, and who knows which situation underlied such a decision. We cannot but invoke mercy and we feel compassion for that mother.
If we carefully examine this choice, what we will see is not an act of abandonment, but a cry for help:
the baby girl, wrapped in a flowered blanket, inside a box, was placed in front of a hospital, a place of assistance and care, right outside the obstetrics emergency room.
Whoever left her there wanted to save her, hoped that by seeing her, someone would take her in and protect her.
The right thing to do, as has been occurring these past few hours, is to reflect on the need to support motherhood, in a context of solidarity, so that mother and child may peacefully remain together before and after birth.
We cannot avoid reflecting on the countless number of children who are prevented from being born
Children that society – including its laws and politics – turns a blind eye to – yet these children exist. Children discarded for the sake of spurious rights and of a warped interpretation of freedom. They too, Pope Francis said, “are children of the whole of society. Their killing in huge numbers, with the endorsement of States, is a serious problem that undermines the foundations of the construction of justice, compromising the proper solution of any other human and social issue” (February 2, 2019).
There should be increased awareness of the Help for Life Centres network (present in regions throughout Italy including the islands, frequently with care homes), of the Gemma Project and of SOS Vita support services.
Women should also be informed about the possibility of giving birth anonymously, allowing the mother to deliver her baby in hospital and receive medical care and assistance, and thereby protect both herself and her child.
The sites housing the ‘life cradles’ must likewise be publicised.
Ultimately, the whole matter is encompassed in the gaze that recognises the other person’s humanity or in the denial of that gaze.
The baby girl was seen because someone made sure that another person’s gaze fell on her. And thus would embrace her.
The whole of society must be drawn to fix its gaze also on those babies conceived and rejected by means of abortion – whether surgical, pharmacological, chemical – or even selected, frozen, made the object of destructive experimentation. It is the responsibility of those who identify with the culture of life.
We warmly welcome the baby girl from Monza into this world. All the best to her and heartfelt thoughts to her mother, who hopefully knows that her daughter is safe and is being lovingly cared for.
(*) President, Pro-Life Movement