Incident could lead to ammendment to Safe Haven law

November 9, 2010
By

On the day the East Boston teenager was arraigned for allegedly throwing her newborn baby boy out a second floor window on Saratoga Street to the alleyway below, Baby Safe Haven New England founders, whose members were in East Boston the day the baby was found by neighbors and police, called for 911 responders to be designated as mobile safe haven sites.

Jean and Michael Morrisey, founders of Baby Safe Haven, have received the support and promise that newly elected State Representative, Steven Levy of Marlborough, will file an amendment to the Massachusetts Baby Safe Haven law to include 911 responders as a safe haven site.

During the passage of the Massachusetts Baby Safe Haven law in 2004 the Morriseys requested that 911 responders be included in the list of safe haven sites. This was written into the New Hampshire law at their request in 2003, and in the Vermont law in 2005.

Baby Safe Haven New England would like Massachusetts to follow the lead of New Hampshire and Vermont as the best Baby Safe Haven laws in New England with their hospitals, police and fire stations, and 911 responders as safe haven sites.

With this amendment every single square inch of Massachusetts would become a safe haven site. Young people have cell phones, though many are not mobile and cannot travel the many miles to a hospital, staffed police or fire station. With their cell phone call, a trained emergency responder can meet them anywhere in the state, and transport both the baby, and mother if she requests, in the fastest way to medical help.

This amendment may have averted this local abandonment, and many future tragedies may possibly be stopped when this is added to the law.

Baby Safe Haven founders said by the Massachusetts statistics that three groups pose the highest level of newborn abandonment potential. These are women who have drug and alcohol dependencies, women who have just moved into the state –either from countries without safe haven laws or students who come from states that do not properly promote their laws, and very young women who may not be capable of the distances needed to travel to a safe haven site that may be miles away. By adding 911 responders there is the opportunity to properly and confidentially respond to women in these groups with a 911 responder to a site that has been agreed upon following a 911 call.

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