An Illinois woman is facing both first degree attempted murder and child abandonment charges for the attempted killing of her newborn child, who was found tied up in a trash bag inside a nursing home restroom.
Verna Tolentino, 40, was an employee at Glenview Terrace Nursing Home in Glenview, Illinois, at the time of the incident. According to an NBC News affiliate, Ms. Tolentino locked herself into a bathroom and called 911 during her shift on January 11th, 2021, reporting “abdominal pain.” Over two hours later, janitorial staff cleaning up that restroom were shocked to find a baby boy in a tied-up garbage bag. The baby was taken to a local hospital where he was stabilized. Ms. Tolentino was subsequently transferred to the Labor and Delivery unit of the hospital where she was admitted in order to receive postpartum care.
The Cook County State’s Attorney Felony Review Unit approved the attempted murder and child abandonment charges in early February after reviewing the case.
Baby Tolentino’s tragic story need never have happened. Illinois, like every state, has a Safe Haven law in place that allows for unharmed newborns up to 30 days old to be legally surrendered at police stations, firehouses, or other medical facilities such as hospitals. Another resource for parents unsure on what to do or whether the law applies to them can confidentially call the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation’s 24-hour hotline, 888-510-BABY (2229).
Live Action News has recently profiled multiple stories of children who could have been surrendered under Safe Haven laws but were killed instead. In January, a Wisconsin teen shot his newborn daughter to death and then covered her naked body in snow and abandoned her in a tree. Mere weeks later, a deceased baby was found in the trash at a California waste facility. Autopsy results confirmed that the baby was alive, not a stillbirth, at the time he or she was dumped in the garbage.
Unfortunately, our current cultural mindset insists that a child’s life is only valuable if it is wanted. Unwanted children are devastatingly vulnerable to abortion, often through all nine months of pregnancy. Those who choose to kill their newborns continue that same logic by disposing of their unwanted children who are outside the womb. Both inside and outside the womb, human beings are valuable, and help and resources are available to parents to either help them raise a child or choose a loving adoptive family.
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