Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco to save the lives of newborn infants was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. The Senator’s bill, S-122, expands the “New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act,” to include the premises of fire stations and ambulance, first aid, and rescue squads that are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Senator Bucco is also a proud sponsor of the original Safe Haven law, enacted in the 2000-2001 legislative session.
“This lifesaving legislation is a crucial expansion that will undoubtedly increase the number of newborns rescued across our state,” said Senator Bucco. “By signing this bill into law, we are preventing countless cases of illegal abandonment, giving struggling parents the opportunity to surrender a child safely and anonymously, without having to travel far from home.”
— Sen. Anthony Bucco (@tonybucco) August 11, 2015
Under the original Safe Haven legislation, the lives of more than 60 infants have been saved, with a 60 percent drop in illegal child abandonment, according to a 2014 state report. S-122 is designed to save even more lives by expanding the list of sites at which newborns may be left safely and anonymously.
The current Safe Haven law only identifies hospital emergency rooms and municipal police stations as surrender sites, limiting the opportunities to surrender an infant safely.
“For more than 15 years, I have fought to protect the lives of infants across the state by championing Safe Havens,” Bucco said. “I thank the governor and my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly for joining me in the effort to give vulnerable parents a way to surrender their child safely, giving countless newborns a chance at a better life.”