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Muskogee Hospital Stops Publishing New Arrivals

Most area hospitals list the births in local newspapers, but one hospital in Muskogee has put the brakes on publishing new arrivals.

Bill Kennedy, the chief executive officer of the Muskogee Regional Medical Center, says safety is the first concern. That's why you won't find any baby's name in the local newspaper. The Muskogee Regional Medical Center stopped sending out birth announcements earlier this month. "I'd like for people to know I had a baby because I was proud of him," said Zachary's mother, Lisa Lowe. "I like to know when people I went to school with have babies."

But Kennedy says the decision to suspend listing new births was prompted by a recommendation from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The organization says it's found that birth announcements can lead child abductors to hospital nurseries. "It's a tragedy to ruin one of the happiest moments in life with an instance like that," said Kennedy.

According to the N-C-M-E-C, 104 hospital abductions have been reported across the nation in the last 17 years. That's a number Kennedy says he wants to see come down. "I think one is one too many when you talk about numbers," he said. "I think there have been six or seven attempts in Oklahoma and a couple that have been successful."

Lowe says they appreciate the protection, but it doesn't change the fact that they'd like to have their baby's birth announcement on record. "I'd put it in his book so he could have it because I still have mine when I was born my parents kept mine," said Lowe. The hospital president says they are trying to find a way to strike a balance that will make parents happy while protecting the babies.

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