Lauer's bill protecting vulnerable newborns heads to governor

Posted by: Abrahm Hurt  | Thursday, March 25, 2021

STATEHOUSE (March 25, 2021) – State Rep. Ryan Lauer's (R-Columbus) legislation expanding Indiana's Safe Haven Law to save more newborns is on its way to the governor's desk.

Lauer said his bill would allow a parent in crisis to call 911 to anonymously surrender a baby less than 30 days old to emergency medical service providers. The Indiana Department of Child Services would then assume custody of the newborn. Also, parents could voluntarily surrender newborns to medical staff after hospital deliveries. 

"If signed into law, an additional lifeline will be provided to parents who find themselves in a crisis and are unable to get to a designated Safe Haven location, like a hospital, to surrender their newborn," Lauer said. "Our first responders can step in and immediately help a family in distress, ultimately keeping babies from undue harm or neglect."

Lauer said Indiana's Safe Haven Law provides safeguards for parents or caregivers who surrender an infant fewer than 30 days old to any emergency room, fire station, police station or Safe Haven Baby Box without facing prosecution and can remain anonymous.

Supporters of House Enrolled Act 1230 include the National Safe Haven Alliance, Indiana Fire Chiefs Association, Indiana Public Defender Council, Indiana Volunteer Firefighter's Association and Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana.

Lauer's legislation is now with the governor for consideration as a new law. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.

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State Rep. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) represents House District 59,
which includes portions of Bartholomew County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.