March 27, 2016
The week before spring break, a student gave birth in a campus dorm bathroom.EJ The infant was found deceased inside the student’s backpack. The student was walking around campus when police located her.EJ
The infant’s cause of death is still unknown and is under investigation by the Champaign County coroner and police.
According to Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup, a typical autopsy can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days.
“Under normal circumstances, barring any unforeseen situations that may arise or additional testing or anything that may need to be done,” he said. “That includes getting all our results back from the labs and the final autopsy results from the pathologists and any information that may be needed from the police.”
The Coroner’s Office is still waiting on results from samples they sent out to be tested, Northrup said.
University of Illinois Police Department spokesman Patrick Wade said that he wanted to make it clear that there are resources available for those who may be affected by this case.
“I know there were people who may have known (the student), and may have known what was going on, and we want to make sure those resources are available,” he said.
The University also provides resources for any student who is pregnant, or know someone who is.
The Women’s Health Clinic at the McKinley Health Center offers numerous services for different aspects of women’s reproductive health, ranging from pregnancy options counseling to contraceptives.
On the department’s home web page, it says that their mission, “is to offer quality care to women (and) empower women through educational and emotional support by providing care in an approachable, caring and professional atmosphere. We strive to provide the education that our patients need to make informed decisions regarding their health care.”
The Baby Safe Haven Organization aims to reduce the amount of incidents of baby abandonment. The Baby Safe Haven Law allows anyone to leave a baby, up to 30 days old, with a staff member at any hospital, medical services provider, or police station in Illinois completely anonymously no questions asked, unless the child has any signs of mistreatment or neglect.
Kiara Rivera, the Chicagoland spokesperson for the Baby Safe Haven awareness campaign, said that the law is important and relatively unknown to young people.
“It’s especially important for young individuals to know this law and know that they have this option so that they could not only help themselves but help the child as well,” Rivera said. “By you telling your friend, or anybody you know in this situation about this law, you could potentially save the life of the baby and also help your friend as well, and that’s important.”
The Planned Parenthood at the Champaign Health Center, located by the County Market on Springfield Avenue, is another place where students can go for reproductive health resources.
They provide many different women’s health services including birth control, emergency contraceptives such as The Morning After and Plan B, pregnancy testing, ultrasound dating and abortion services. Appointments can be booked online or called in, and all services and options can be discussed with a staff member to help someone determine what is best for them.
Besides physical health, mental health services are also available to University students. The University of Illinois Counseling Center offers consultations, workshops, and other psycho-educational forms of services to students that need them.
“(We) offer psychological services as well as consultations to students,” said Dynesha Mason Grissom, Outreach and Consultation Services Coordinator for the Counseling Center. “They’re confidential. If any students are having challenges or want to come in and talk about different struggles in their lives.”
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