Greenville (PalmettoTimes) – Unwanted pregnancies can be really heart wrenching, especially when the mother doesn’t have the required means to take care of the child in question. This is most likely what led Estela Ruiz-Gomez, 18, kill her baby.
Estela Ruiz-Gomez, a 19 year old resident of Taylors. On Tuesday, she was charged with homicide by child abuse. She gave birth to the child while in the restroom of the La Parilla Mexican Restaurant and failed to give it adequate care attention, according to the warrant.
The warrant also charged her mother, Lorenza Gomez Rodrigues, a 41 year old resident of Taylors, of homicide by child abuse, aiding and abetting. The reason for this is that the mother was present when her daughter gave birth to the child and didn’t give it adequate care.
The officers responded to a call from the restaurant that the new born baby was suffering from a cardiac arrest. They were also told that Ruiz Gomez had probably given birth to the child in the bathroom. When the officers got to the baby, it still had a heartbeat and they rushed it to the hospital where it was pronounced dead.
An autopsy by the medical examiner revealed that there was no birth related reason for the death of the baby. They also found pieces of dirt and gravel on the baby’s body.
The police charged her with homicide by child abuse. The police also charged her mother with homicide by child abuse, along with aiding and abetting.
The death of the child and the subsequent arrests of the two women could have been avoided if they had known of the Safe Haven Act for Abandoned Babies. This act allows people to drop unwanted new born babies to designated officials at designated places.
Rev. Alejandro Mejia seriously doubts that the two women involved knew about this law. The ignorance of the law and the fear in immigrant communities is a major factor in the poor decisions that members of those communities make.
According to Reverend Alejandro,
“If the government doesn’t provide information in a way that is available for all, it will be really difficult to prevent this situation from happening again. If they were undocumented, there is always that fear that you are going to lose everything. So, if that’s your fear then you are going to make the wrong decision.
I’m sure if these two ladies knew there were options, it would have been possible that this story would not have occurred.”
On the other hand, the government seems to maintain that it has actually taken steps to disseminate information in the right quarters. According to Marilyn Matheus, a spokesperson for the Department of Social Security, the DSS works hand in hand with the Bar Association and South Carolina Hospital Association to make sure that information gets to the right quarters. Information on this law is readily available online in Spanish and English.
According to Matheus,
“Clearly the law works, as is evidenced by the number of safe abandonments each year. Although it’s not a high number any year, if one child is saved by being placed in a safe haven, it’s well worth it. However, anything our partners, including the media, can do to assist us in educating the public is greatly appreciated and further supports our efforts to keep children in South Carolina safe.”