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Baby Box Legislation Heads To Governor’s Desk

A prototype of the baby box sits on a counter in the Woodburn Fire Station just outside of Fort Wayne. The boxes would be built into the walls of fire stations, police stations, hospitals or other qualified nonprofits such as domestic violence shelters.

Indiana is one step closer to becoming the first state to adopt “baby boxes.”

A measure that calls for a study of the proposal was sent to the governor’s desk yesterday, after the House unanimously accepted a Senate amendment calling for state agencies to address questions about the boxes.

The controversial proposal would have hospitals, fire and police stations install special boxes for mothers to anonymously drop off their unwanted newborns.

The review will put a microscope to current practices around the state, such as Indiana’s safe haven law that allows newborns to be surrendered at certain sites without persecution.

Bill author Rep. Casey Cox, R-Fort Wayne, expects that the governor will sign the bill into law.

“Knowing that the governor is such a passionate believer in the cause for life issues, this had great support from Indiana Right to Life and a number of other important organizations, I fully expect he will sign it,” Cox says.

The bill calls for the study to be finished by the next legislative session. If baby boxes are approved they could be in use as soon as July 2016.

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