Critics cite confusion as reason to stop NJ safe haven expansion

(10/23/06) TRENTON ? A proposed measure to expand New Jersey?s safe haven law isn?t getting rave reviews from everyone.

Lawmakers in favor of the bill say it will ultimately save lives. The safe haven measure allows mothers to drop their newborn babies at police stations and hospitals, no questions asked. Assemblywoman Joan Quigley (D) says too many babies are still found in dumpsters and similar locations. According to Quigley, the safe haven measure must be expanded to include firehouses and first aid stations in the list of drop-off points.

However, some say an expansion will only cause confusion. Nancy Pinkin of the NJ First Aid Council says not all aid stations are staffed 24 hours a day. She fears a mother?s confusion about properly staffed locations will cause them to shy away from using the safe haven law. The bill was amended to only include stations staffed 24 hours a day. Quigley now wants to get the bill moved forward as quickly as possible so as not to further endanger newborn children.

 

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