For six weeks Leticia Gomez has been attending the "New Beginnings" prenatal instruction course at Antelope Valley Hospital in Los Angeles, California. The class is designed to provided essential information to expecting parents, such as, what strangers are mostly likely to care for your baby until you realize you made a horrible mistake in 20 years, fun and exciting techniques to terminate breathing and how to ensure a complete incineration.
Gomez speaks highly of the program, "I was going to have to take care of my child for years, or throw it into a drainage ditch". But now she says she sees infinitely more possibilities.
Deborah Roe, the course's coordinator commented, as she rolled a doll replica in a moldy bath mat, "This course is really for the modern urban woman, who knows her street value could be decreased by evidence of previous impregnations". She proceeded to spin around and toss the mat into a mock aluminum trash receptacle, adding to her nearly 30 pupils, "That's called the 'Wrap and Drop'".
The Antelope Valley Hospital director, Dr. James L. Williams initiated the new program in 2005 after what he calls, "An outbreak of cases of inadequately abandoned infants in the local community". Williams claims the class has had the desired impact on the area. He cites figures which show a 34 percent decrease in human remains under the age of six weeks being discovered in the neighborhood. Williams states, "Thats because they are disposed of so well!".
The course culminates on its final day with a field demonstration. The parents are taken to an otherwise mundane urban surrounding and asked to list three potential areas where their baby could be disposed of at. Roe exclaims, "Its just wonderful to see the light in their eyes, where they once saw just a sewer a whole new world opens up to them".
In 2009, Roe and Williams plan to expand the program to five other regional medical centers, in hopes that the course will offer new beginnings to even more parents.