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70 women say their babies may have been taken from them at Homer G. Phillips

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Some 70 women have come forward in less than 24 hours to tell St. Louis city officials they fear their babies were taken from them at birth and then given away.

Jaqueline Butler called our newsroom to tell us her story about the birth of her daughter, “If she’s alive I would love to be united or reunited with her.”

Butler called after she saw a story concerning Gospel singer Zella Jackson Price.  Price was reunited with her daughter 50 years after giving birth at Homer G. Phillips Hospital.  Zella was told her baby had died but she never believed it. Neither did her daughter and last month the two finally found each other. They say a DNA test confirmed the relationship

Now more women believe a similar thing happened to them at the same hospital. Everything seemed to be fine with the birth of Jaquelines baby girl in 1971. And then she was told the infant died of brain damage three days later. She never got to hold her, or give her the name she had chosen for the newborn.

Butler said, “I never received a birth certificate, death certificate I asked what did you do with my baby if she died, I never received anything, any answer.”

St. Louis City Hall officials have designated a phone number people can call if they have similar stories and already scores of people are calling. City Health Commissioner Melba Moore said, “If this is true we are going to work with the St. Louis police department to further investigate this matter we want to hold people accountable for what has occurred and the emotional impact on these families’ lives.”

Butler added, “Someone played God for sure, the reason they were giving the babies away or selling them I don’t know, only the person involved would know that.”  She said if someone who worked at the hospital years ago and knows something would come forward that could help a lot of women.

Local attorney Al Watkins has filed suit.

The phone number the city has for moms searching for answers is 314-657-1511.

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