Join 3,524 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


August 22, 2002
8:31 AM   Subscribe

dumpster sticker says, Don't throw that baby away!. Christine McGuire of the Santa Cruz county District Attorney's Office thinks it's a good idea.
posted by trioperative (39 comments total)

 
There are no words....
posted by rushmc at 8:34 AM on August 22, 2002


I was going to make a snarky comment here, when it suddenly occurred to me that we live in a world where it's necessary to put "Please dispose of children elsewhere" stickers on our garbage cans.

If anyone needs me, I'll be sitting out in the dandelion patch.
posted by ColdChef at 8:35 AM on August 22, 2002


Last caress.
posted by plexi at 8:40 AM on August 22, 2002


amen, CC. leave some room for me.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:40 AM on August 22, 2002


I don't know how many babies this is going to save, but I really can't fault this person for doing this - babies have been left in dumpsters, and letting a mother know that she has another option may prevent her from dumping her baby.
posted by sid at 8:41 AM on August 22, 2002


I heart Santa Cruz

The grunge font on the bumper sticker is an interesting choice. I wonder what exactly they're trying to communicate to the reluctant mothers with that.
posted by kmel at 8:41 AM on August 22, 2002


sid:

how about getting to the root of the problem and helping mothers learn about birth control, getting jobs to support the children, etc etc ? It'll do a lot more good than a fucking sticker.
posted by trioperative at 8:43 AM on August 22, 2002


"Would you want this (sticker) on your Dumpster in front of your home?" he said.

McGuire countered by saying "what I don't want is a dead baby in my Dumpster."


the woman does have a point there.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:44 AM on August 22, 2002


Probably a good idea, definitely a sad comment on Humanity. Comparable to "Do Not Take Internally" warnings on Drano, in a way.

There are moments where all you can do is shake your head. Sometimes these moments last for weeks...
posted by Shane at 8:48 AM on August 22, 2002


how about getting to the root of the problem and helping mothers learn about birth control, getting jobs to support the children, etc etc ? It'll do a lot more good than a fucking sticker.

no argument on that, but that takes a lot of resources and, gasp, *honesty* about young people's sex lives. women who dump their infants in the garbage are clearly not functioning at a level where they understand all their options. a woman who has "magical thinking" about her unwanted pregnancy (like the NJ "Prom Mom") is obviously not linked into prenatal care, mental health care, etc., or she wouldn't be in that position in the first place.

how should the community advertise that it has no-questions-asked infant abandonment sites (hospitals, fire stations) --- by advertising at the sites, or at the places where the babies have been winding up until now? maybe both...but this effort can't hurt. sure it makes the rest of us sad, but maybe we should work on some of those loftier goals in the meantime.
posted by serafinapekkala at 8:50 AM on August 22, 2002


I don't really see it (stickering dumpsters) as a big deal, although I can't really say I spend much time reading dumpsters. What I would have done would not be trying to get the garbage companies to put the stickers on, but just go around town slapping the stickers on dumpsters (would charges be filed for "defacing a dumpster"?). On the other hand, if I was a teen that was already to the point of disposing of a baby in a dumpster, I don't think a sticker would change my mind.
posted by stifford at 8:54 AM on August 22, 2002


If it saves one baby's life, as low as we have become as a society, I still think it's worth it. I mean if you're going to trash a baby, I'm sure someone would be willing to adopt it instead.

Now where can I get one of these stickers?
posted by FiveFrozenFish at 8:56 AM on August 22, 2002


All those in favor of a "don't give your baby a mullet and feed him Lunchables" sticker, raise your hand.
posted by bondcliff at 8:58 AM on August 22, 2002


I'm going to come down on the "God no, don't put up the stickers" side.

As in the case of the "Prom Mom" and other cases I've heard about, the second-most likely place for a newborn to be abandoned is - pardon me for even bringing this up - in a toilet.

If its a good idea to put these stickers on dumpsters, it must by extension also be a good idea to put them on toilets. I think that's the point where the argument fails, and we can say that the dumpster sticker isn't a good idea in the first place.
posted by yhbc at 8:59 AM on August 22, 2002


How about signs around children's necks, "Don't Kidnap Me"? Maybe a sticker on syringes "Don't Inject Heroin"? Wow, the possibilities are endless. I think she's really on to something here. (Yes, the previous comment was dripping with sarcasm).
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:01 AM on August 22, 2002


For some reason, I am reminded of thse "baby on board" signs from the 80's
posted by thirteen at 9:12 AM on August 22, 2002


This may sound cold, but I'm a big proponent of cost/benefit analysis. The 'if it saves one life, then it's worth it' argument often chaps my ass. Granted, in this case, the cost of placing bumper stickers is probably not high, so maybe it's worth it.

What concerns me, though, is the recent news that communities and states all across the nation are putting in place the 'Amber Warning' system to notify the public to be on the lookout for an abducter of a child. At a (granted, superficial) glance, it sounds like an awfully lot of community resources to spend for a problem that just isn't that common. (I'm admitting my relative ignorance on the subject, so am open to correction by anyone who knows more).
posted by tippiedog at 9:13 AM on August 22, 2002


If you need to place your baby in a dumpster, do it in the dumpster beside my house. We have dumpster divers hourly, and surely one of them would grab the baby along with that busted halogen lamp, box of Boca Burgers, and window fan with only two blades.
posted by alou73 at 9:15 AM on August 22, 2002


Don't throw that baby away! Recycle it.
posted by Coda at 9:21 AM on August 22, 2002


...busted halogen lamp, box of Boca Burgers, and window fan with only two blades.

Um, where is this dumpster?

Reminds me of the days we used to call in an order to Dominos, didn't pick it up, then pulled it out of the trash bin later...
posted by Shane at 9:23 AM on August 22, 2002


If you need to place your baby in a dumpster, do it in the dumpster beside my house. We have dumpster divers hourly, and surely one of them would grab the baby along with that busted halogen lamp, box of Boca Burgers, and window fan with only two blades.

~Envisions halogen illumined, Boca fueled cyborg baby with fan blades for hands and passes out from terror~
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:26 AM on August 22, 2002


This may sound cold, but I'm a big proponent of cost/benefit analysis. The 'if it saves one life, then it's worth it' argument often chaps my ass. Granted, in this case, the cost of placing bumper stickers is probably not high, so maybe it's worth it.

I see where you're coming from tippie, but in order to do this, you have to quantify the value of a baby. What do we set that rate at? Is it the number of dollars the process to adopt a baby costs (which I understand is quite high)? The amount babies go for on the black market? The amount of money spent on the date the night it was conceived? Not really an answerable question.

Me, I'm willing to do a lot to save a baby's life. Even just one. I don't see any harm in these stickers. To those that are vehemently against it, do you mind if I ask why? I don't really understand the point of not having them, given the opportunity that it may do some good. Guaranteed, it can get out of control (like if they wanted to put a sticker on the trash can in my cubicle) but I think there is bound to be a happy balance somewhere. And, if nothing else, at least the idea of the no questions asked drop off station is being promoted and publicized.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:32 AM on August 22, 2002


...Boca fueled cyborg baby with fan blades for hands and passes out from terror...

That would be baby Edward Fanbladehands.

Sorry.
posted by Shane at 9:36 AM on August 22, 2002


Ufez wrote: I see where you're coming from tippie, but in order to do this, you have to quantify the value of a baby.

You're absolutely right, and that's where things get messy. I konw how I feel, but it's hard to make those types of decisions on a community-wide level.
posted by tippiedog at 9:39 AM on August 22, 2002


The idea that there are large numbers of young women running around out there who have never heard of adoption, are incapable of conceiving the idea of leaving a newborn in a basket on someone's doorstep, and will be influenced by a BUMPERSTICKER on a dumpster when they have reached the point--emotionally and practically--of dumping their baby in the trash is preposterous and insulting to young women everywhere.
posted by rushmc at 10:02 AM on August 22, 2002


If more state would decriminalize the abandonment of a baby at hospitals, then they wouldn't need bumper stickers. A woman could leave their baby in an ER no questions asked. State DHS would come by and make arrangements for the baby.
posted by mkelley at 10:15 AM on August 22, 2002


tippiedog, my understanding is that the Amber Alert system rides on the surplus capacity of the Emergency Alert System. They called it the emergency broadcast system when I was a kid. Most commonly used for weather emergencies, I believe the initial justification of the system was to warn of nuclear attack. Essentially, this things sitting there, doing nothing 99% of the time. They've thrown another task at it, so now it's doing nothing 98.99% of the time.

This page gives state by state details. Not all states use the Emergency alert system, and instead the policy call local TV and radio stations. The site touts the system as "free." I think that it would be more accurate to say that it is of a negligible cost.
posted by putzface_dickman at 10:18 AM on August 22, 2002


Christine McGuire of the Santa Cruz county District Attorney's Office thinks it's a good idea.
what attorney wouldn't?
posted by quonsar at 11:06 AM on August 22, 2002


what attorney woulnd't?

pretty much all of the ones i work with--prosecutors, defenders, zealots and burn-outs alike.

(it's pretty much a non-solution. you know the "i can't come up with an answer; i can't bear to face the problem; so i'll do this ineffectual, non-emotionally taxing thing which i can put in my basket of good deeds" answer to all life's ugliness)
posted by crush-onastick at 11:27 AM on August 22, 2002


Two things:

if I was a teen that was already to the point of disposing of a baby in a dumpster, I don't think a sticker would change my mind.
yes. People that find the idea of tossing a baby abhorrent will only be saddened by the stickers. Those who've made up their minds to trash their babies are already in denial, and a sticker won't change this. Either way, I don't want the stickers to become part of everyday life.

And Five Frozen Fish should be truncated to FFF and five fresh fish to fff from now on. thank you.
posted by whatnot at 11:33 AM on August 22, 2002


This guy, however, is still ff.
posted by yhbc at 11:36 AM on August 22, 2002


agreed.
posted by whatnot at 11:41 AM on August 22, 2002


...if I was a teen that was already to the point of disposing of a baby in a dumpster, I don't think a sticker would change my mind.

I don't know. It's reasonable to assume that a woman who is dumping a baby is already in a state of extreme denial. Something like this might confront her with the reality of what she's doing (and also the fact that there is an alternative.)

I think, I hope, that a human being brought to the point of abandoning a child is in an extreme state of mind and is not thinking rationally. Am I wrong, or did the last woman to leave a baby in a bathroom stall also give birth to the baby there, then just walk away as if nothing happened..?

Who knows, but maybe most women who abandon babies are already in a reality that their mind cannot face up to (incest? rape?)

Is this maybe meant to be the psychology of these stickers?

I still agree that stickers on dumpsters are a desperate, nearly ridiculous answer. But grasping at straws to save babies is understandable.
posted by Shane at 11:49 AM on August 22, 2002


The idea that there are large numbers of young women running around out there who have never heard of adoption, are incapable of conceiving the idea of leaving a newborn in a basket on someone's doorstep, and will be influenced by a BUMPERSTICKER on a dumpster when they have reached the point--emotionally and practically--of dumping their baby in the trash is preposterous and insulting to young women everywhere.

I think you are right that a majority of young women would not do this, but the type of young woman idiotic enough to not have heard of adoption (kind of like the one who heard about sunscreen, and .01% of 300 million is a lot of idiots) and is clearly making a rash emotional decision may in fact be swayed by a last second emotional plea. It's worth a try.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:17 PM on August 22, 2002


It's reasonable to assume that a woman who is dumping a baby is already in a state of extreme denial. Something like this might confront her with the reality of what she's doing (and also the fact that there is an alternative.)

I think the operative word there is 'might'. It seems to me that the chances of the sticker changing someone's mind would be vanishingly small. When abandoning your baby in a dumpster seems like the only option, following the directions on the sticker would seem like just one more damn thing. And you're probably already at the end of your rope or not thinking clearly at all.
posted by machine at 1:22 PM on August 22, 2002


they have signs all over the salvation army bins here and still people throw garbage in them. this 'no baby dumping' sticker thing is just an example of how insane our society really is. that anybody would take such a sign as anything other than a gruesome social criticism (like say, a solution to the problem of infant abandonment) is itself an insane idea.
posted by quonsar at 2:55 PM on August 22, 2002


Seems to me that these stickers are more likely to plant in people's heads the idea of how easy it is to abandon a newborn. I see no need to spread this meme.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:44 PM on August 22, 2002


But grasping at straws to save babies is understandable.

Understandable, perhaps, but still foolish and ineffectual.
posted by rushmc at 4:06 PM on August 22, 2002


"McGuire countered by saying 'what I don't want is a dead baby in my Dumpster.'"

Look, the dead ones don't cause any problems, it's the screams of the live ones that will wake you up at two A.M. on a work night.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:14 PM on August 22, 2002


« Older Starbucks announces wireless Internet access in st...  |  need a bmw... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments