Lawmakers want the public to get more information about Louisiana’s safe haven law that allows a parent to relinquish a baby up until they’re two months old.
With a 39-0 vote Wednesday, the Senate gave final passage to House Bill 603 by Rep. Tom Willmott, R-Kenner, requiring the state social services department to develop an annual and public information plan to increase awareness about the law. The bill spells out what the plan should contain and requires annual reporting to lawmakers about the effort.
“We haven’t done a great job of making sure the information is out there,” said Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, who handled the bill in the Senate.
Under the safe haven law, parents who are unable to care for a newborn can leave the child at any designated facility instead of abandoning the child in an unsafe environment. Louisiana’s designated facilities include any licensed hospital, public health unit, emergency medical service provider, medical clinic, fire or police station or pregnancy crisis center.