House Committee passes Bill 1318 which could help prevent newborn deaths

This morning, the House Committee passed Bill 1318 to the Mississippi House of Representatives which could help prevent newborn deaths.

The bill allows a baby to be placed in a baby safety device, called a Safe Haven Baby Box, without a court order. A first responder has permission to take possession of a child, up to 90 days old, who is placed in the box.

The device is installed to ensure the anonymity of the parent and has a climate-controlled environment.

If the bill passes as a state law, Long Beach could be the first city to receive a baby box, which probably will be located at the Central Fire Station on Klondyke Road, since it has already been approved by the board of aldermen. Safe Haven Baby Box Organizer Caitlin Kelly said, “The fact that we can really come alongside these women, we’ve been talking about this for months. Hopefully it will continue to pass through all the House and the Senate. Hopefully become a bill statewide where we can have a baby box in any county that wants a baby box.”

According to National Safe Haven Alliance, every year, infants are illegally abandoned in the U.S. In 2021, 31 babies were placed in dumpsters, found in backpacks, or discarded in other dangerous locations. Twenty-two of these infants were found deceased.

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