Baby boxes are saving lives, creating families

Posted by: Adam Kern  | Friday, February 21, 2020

A few weeks ago at rallies in our nation’s capital and around the country, people came together to stand for the unborn during March for Life. An important part of defending the right to life is to encourage communities to have resources in place to help expectant mothers who may be struggling and face difficult decisions. One way our state is protecting life is through the use of its Safe Haven Law and Safe Haven Baby Boxes. 

Indiana’s Safe Haven Law enables a mother to surrender an infant less than 30 days old to any hospital emergency room, fire station or police station within the state without fear of prosecution. Indiana is also one of the first states to offer Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Baby boxes are safe incubators that have alarm systems to notify nearby staff when a child is placed inside, and is temperature controlled to ensure the baby is kept safe from the elements. First responders are then able to rescue the baby and make sure the child receives the care they need.

There are 21 Safe Haven Baby Boxes across Indiana, including in Evansville, with ongoing efforts to install others across the state. With these safe havens, at-risk newborns have a significantly higher chance at life.

Since the first box was installed in 2016, five babies have been rescued by Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Two other babies have been surrendered at fire stations thanks to the Safe Haven Law.

I support all efforts protecting the sanctity of life, and these boxes offer the child an opportunity at new life. Women in crisis can call the 24 hour baby box hotline at 1-866-99BABY1 and can receive counseling and assistance. To date, the hotline has received close to 4,000 calls from every state in the United States. This service has referred over 500 women to crisis pregnancy centers, assisted in 6 adoption referrals, and have had 59 legal Safe Haven surrenders.

These resources for struggling new moms give families looking to adopt the opportunity to love and welcome a baby into their family. I was touched when I learned that Grace, a newborn surrendered in a Safe Haven Baby Box in northern Indiana less than a month after it went operational, was adopted by a young couple unable to have children of their own. When parents choose life, they give hope to the baby and to the families that may one day adopt them.

I am proud of all we are doing in Indiana to defend the life of the unborn, but more work remains to be done. Baby boxes are a great step, but we can always do more to support those in crisis who are unable to care for their newborn. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at h75@iga.in.gov or by calling 317-232-9643.

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State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75, 
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.

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