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Baby safe haven law still in place

Baby safe haven law still in place

Maryville – In light of the recent deaths of two infants in Hendersonville, A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee is expressing its sadness and heartfelt sympathy for the great loss of these babies to the Hendersonville community.
The organization also would like to stress the importance of communicating its mission in order to protect innocent newborns, and ask that our message be shared.
“A Secret Safe Place for Newborns is a statewide organization dedicated to educating and raising awareness to women about the safe and secret options that the Safe Haven Law provides,” A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee executive director Shannon McCloud said Friday.
The law, enacted on July 1, 2001, allows mothers of newborns to surrender unharmed babies to designated Safe Haven facilities within 72 hours of birth without fear of being prosecuted.
These facilities include hospitals, birthing centers, community health clinics, outpatient and walk-in clinics, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) facilities, and 24-hour staffed police and fire stations.
As long as the baby is unharmed and the mother acts within 72 hours of birth, she will not be prosecuted and is assured of complete confidentiality.
Her baby and her secret will be safe. Without awareness of the Safe Haven Law, unsafe abandonment of newborn babies will continue.
A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, supports and assists medical facilities where mothers can surrender their babies, operates a 24-hour Helpline to answer questions and educates young women across the state about this legal alternative to infant abandonment.
Scared and desperate teens and women who are hiding a pregnancy must know that there is a better option than abandoning their babies.
For more information about communicating this message in your area, contact McCloud at (865) 254-2208 or visit www.secretsafeplacetn.org.
The Helpline number is  1-866-699-SAFE (7233).

WCP 9.22.11

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