Iowa House Votes to Expand Safe Haven Law

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The Iowa House voted to expand a law that was made two decades ago after a teenage girl killed her infant after hiding her pregnancy.

Currently, Iowa’s “Safe Haven Law” allows a parent to leave a baby at a local hospital or fire station within 30 days of the child’s birth and not be charged with abandonment. The Iowa House unanimously voted to lengthen the period to 90 days.

Representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City says the three-month time frame is a good update for a law that came into existence in 2002.

“During that time in Iowa, over 53 children have been surrendered to the State of Iowa by parents who felt that they could not care for those children,” Mascher says. “I look at each and every one of those children and the fact that we’ve had that law in place and it has made a difference in their lives, I’m hoping, for the better.”

Courtesy of Radio Iowa

The law was made 20 years ago after a baby was strangled and found abandoned in a snowbank in Chelsea, Iowa. According to Radio Iowa, the Hawkeye State is one of 23 states that have a 30-day time frame for its Safe Haven Law.

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