An 18-year-old woman from Hobbs, New Mexico, has been arrested and charged with attempted murder and felony child abuse after giving birth and then tossing her child into a dumpster behind a local business last Friday. The baby was found alive by three people going through the trash six hours later. Police were called and the baby was taken to a hospital. The mother was located by police after viewing surveillance tapes from the business where the dumpster was located.

The child, a boy, is listed in stable condition at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas, and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department has taken lawful custody of him.

When arrested, Alexis Avila confessed to leaving her newborn in the dumpster, and said she “panicked” when she gave birth, alleging she was unaware she was even pregnant until a doctor appointment the week before she gave birth.

While there is cause to celebrate the miracle that the baby boy was found and saved, this story is also filled with sad irony.

New Mexico, like every state, has a “safe haven” law that allows mothers to hand over their newborns with 90 days of birth to any hospital, fire or police station without any criminal penalty for child abuse or abandonment. This young mother may not have known about this law, but what about her parents, or friends, or the doctor she saw the week before?

What about putting the child up for adoption?

It was ridiculously easy to do the right thing, yet this mother is now facing criminal charges that will negatively impact the rest of her life. And rightly so.

Next, the abortion culture that predominates in this country, including in New Mexico, has cheapened life to the extent that young ladies such as Ms. Avila don’t consider a newborn baby worthy of saving.

It’s easy to see how she might have come to believe that lie.

For example, if Avila had obtained an abortion even moments before giving birth, she would not be facing prison time right now. That’s how extreme New Mexico’s abortion laws, as well as many other state laws in the country, really are. How, logically and morally, can a baby be worthy of legal status and protection outside the birth canal, but not seconds prior to birth? 

The nation’s elites are guilty of sending the message that not only do preborn babies not have a right to life, but they’re not important enough to protect even when they are born. We’ve seen one of the nation’s governors appear to condone the practice of infanticide where unwanted babies survive an abortion and are born alive. Even Congress cannot muster enough votes to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to protect tiny newborn human beings who survive an abortionist’s best attempt to kill them.

Such wanton disregard for the sanctity of life has infected our society from top to bottom and led mothers like Ms. Avila to make destructive choices.

We at Focus on the Family are dedicated to providing women with the help they need to be able to choose life for their children. We won’t rest until life is protected both inside and outside the womb. Those resources are listed below.

May this young baby boy, who doesn’t have name yet, find the forever home and family that he needs. Would you join us in praying for God’s will to be done in this young child’s life, as well as for the young lady who made a terrible choice.


Alternatives to Abortion: Pregnancy Resource Centers

Unplanned Pregnancy: Help at the Point of Need

Option Ultrasound Program

Unwanted Pregnancy: Destarra’s Story of Hope

Help Her Be Brave: Pro Tips When Facing an Unexpected Pregnancy

Dealing With Unplanned Pregnancy

Pregnant Teen Afraid and Seeking Help

Birth Mothers and the Adoption Option

Photo from KOB4.