Plight of baby Maria should trouble us all
Published 12/05/2015 | 02:30
Words like miracle have been robbed of meaning by overuse, but no other word better describes the story of the survival of the infant known as "baby Maria".
The tiny girl survived up to 36 hours in a plastic bag on a desolate road. Thankfully, by a strange piece of happenstance, the tiny bundle was discovered.
But the story won't really have a happy ending until her mother is found. Nobody knows what torments she endured abandoning her baby. The gardaí and the health services are rightly concerned for her safety. Hopefully she can be traced and given the help she undoubtedly requires.
The story of baby Maria has moved the nation, but there are many similar stories of mothers giving birth in the most difficult stories and forced by circumstances to make impossible choices.
The voluntary organisation CURA dealt with 1,269 calls relating to crisis pregnancy in 2013 alone. Meanwhile, the Central Statistics Office recorded 1,381 births to mothers aged 15 to 19, and 27 to children under 15. Statistics can be dismissed but the personal tragedies and torment that lie behind them should trouble us all.