“Baby box is an alternative to the death!”

Интервью с участницей феминистского движения Анастасией Якубовской

Reading time 7 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

The Deputy Elena Mizulina in the beginning of June 2016 in the state Duma introduced a bill to ban the baby boxes. The author of the bill proposes to prohibit “activities focused on the organization of anonymous abandonment of children” and to punish a legal person by a fine in the installation boxes. On September 27 of 2016, according to Agency “Interfax”, the Russian government supported the initiative of Mizulina. To understand the pros and cons of baby boxes, I turned to the bright representative of the feminist movement Anastasia Jakubowski.

– Baby-boxes – a rather controversial phenomenon. Some experts call them the disgrace of society, others say that the baby boxes is an alternative to death. What point of view you hold and why?

– I am of the view that it is an alternative to death. Statistics show that in the year, dozens of babies found dead were women kill them, hammer a hammer, strangled, thrown in the trash. Basically they’re doing it out of panic, fear that they will condemn the society, from a sense of despair because they have no material means to raise a child. The reasons for infanticide can be a lot of out of this situation only two: put the baby in the baby box, or abandon it in the hospital. However, to leave the baby in the hospital is very difficult: you want to write a statement to indicate the reason for the failure, then within six months to wait for the decision of the court. This is a very long and unpleasant paperwork, when almost every day on every piece of paper you sign highlighted that you abandoned the child. And this method is never resorted to women suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism. Some girls decide to murder your baby because you’re afraid that at the hospital they just will not give up the baby: he will try to push the doctors and to condemn relatives. And baby-boxes exclude this situation: nobody knows when you put the baby in a box as it looks. In other words, no one can affect voluntary or forced because of the circumstances a woman’s decision to abandon the child.

– Is the statement that the baby boxes are forcing women to abandon their children?

– Of course not. Personally, I have never seen social advertising like “you Have no choice? Put baby in the baby box!”. No shares, no propaganda. If a woman is caught in such a predicament, she will find a way. About the baby boxes, almost no one knew, not yet broke this scandal. Many people forget or don’t even know what baby-boxes is not just a box in which to leave children. Next to them there are huge booths, which call to call hotlines, talk about raising a child, if you do not have enough funds. As the stands with the headlines “Call the hotline”, “you can help” can provoke the abandonment of children?

– What other arguments brought by the opponents of baby boxes?

– The main argument of most public institutions, for example, Fund “Volunteers in aid to children-orphans” is the lack of statistics, according to which infant mortality rate is declining. I met a showgirl, but to argue on this subject – it is like saying that the Earth is not round because you didn’t see it. Statesmen, such as former children’s Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov and Yelena Mizulina, sure that the baby boxes violate a child’s right to know about my parents. However, it seems to me that when faced with a choice between death and life without being acquainted with their parents will choose life. Also the opponents of baby boxes believe that the woman relinquishing the child is not in the best point in my life. Maybe she’s depressed or she just seems that there is no way – in this state, she can’t make informed decisions. The deliberation of decisions can be assessed in each individual case, but clearly these women don’t just decide to kill her child. If you look at this subject this way, then the problem is not baby boxes, and social security in our country.

– Then there is the problem of infanticide can be solved by improving social conditions across the country?

– Yes, but no means for it. And all the baby boxes installed at the expense of personal funds, crowdfunding, charity is not a government initiative. For example, the first baby box was installed the head of the charitable Foundation “Cradle of hope” Elena Kotova. She heard stories about the murder of babies by their mothers, which is almost on the brink of survival, and began to raise money. It is impossible to say with 100 percent certainty that the number of infanticide declined, but over the past five years has saved dozens of babies. I think it’s a small victory.

– What will happen if the bill Mizulina to ban the baby boxes will still accept? How will this affect our society?

– In General society this will be reflected slightly. Will only increase the number of cases where child will be left on the doorstep of a hospital or kindergarten. This can be done in winter, when the baby may simply freeze. When children will be throw in the trash – the number of such accidents will also increase. A striking example of the consequences of this bill was the action of feminists in St. Petersburg: they took to the streets wearing masks with the face Mizulina wrote on dumpsters “This will replace the baby-boxes” or “baby box cannot be – in the trash can” and threw there toy babies. And it really is true. Of course, we can’t say for sure, but it is obvious that several dozen children who could have saved thanks to baby-boxes will die.