MCCL Provides Information on Safe Haven Laws
Fosston, MN — During their monthly update on the Food for Thought Program, Dick Roue of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life discussed some safer alternatives for women going though an unplanned and perhaps unwanted pregnancy other than abortion.
In response to tragedies involving abandoned infants, Minnesota enacted the Safe Place for Newborns law in 2000, providing a safe, anonymous alternative for mothers to legally leave their newborns in the care of others. Mothers, or someone with their permission, may leave unharmed newborns, no more than 7 days old, with an ambulance dispatched in response to a 9-1-1 call, or at a hospital or health care facility that provides urgent care. Medical staff will give shelter, health care and aid to the newborn, according to Roue.
The Safe Place for Newborns law does not apply if mothers give birth in a hospital, as a hospital delivery creates a vital record, and anonymity would no longer be possible at that point.
The purpose and mission of the Safe Place for Newborns law is to save the lives of newborns in danger of abandonment and to help preserve the health and future of mothers.
The Safe Place for Newborns law requires county social service agencies to place infants in foster care to ensure safety. While Roue notes that the foster care system is by no means perfect, it is far better than the alternative.
And Roue adds that there a number of pregnancy centers throughout the region that provide completely free and confidential information for expecting mothers looking for resources.
Area pregnancy centers include the Grand Forks Women’s Pregnancy Center, Northwoods Pregnancy Center in Bemidji, Life Care Center in Thief River Falls, Health Recourses Center in Detroit Lakes, and the Pregnancy Resource Center in Park Rapids. Listen to the full interview with Dick Roue from the KKCQ Food for Thought Program below: