CHICAGO, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Illinois was the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring every hospital, fire station, police station and emergency medical facility that is required to accept a relinquished newborn infant in accordance with the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act to post a uniform sign in a conspicuous place on the exterior of the building informing persons that a newborn infant may be relinquished at that location.
"Now Illinois is the first state in the country to have 100% of its hospitals in compliance with the signs mandate," announced Penny Green, President of the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation. "This will help clarify to the public what locations are Safe Havens in Illinois, and help save the lives of more babies," Green added.
The Illinois Hospital Association played an important part in making this possible by making hospitals aware of the law. Barb Haller, Director of Health Policy for the Association, led its communication efforts in advising hospitals of the law's requirements as well as providing information on resources for compliance.
"Educating the public about the existence of this life saving law is crucial. If people don't know the law exists, how can they be expected to use it? This law not only saves the lives of these precious babies but also saves the parents from potential criminal charges," said Green. "Efforts are still being made to bring fire and police stations into compliance with the law," she added.
The Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act allows desperate parents who feel they cannot keep a newborn baby who is 7 days old or younger, to hand the unharmed infant to any personnel at hospitals, police or fire stations. The parent can walk away with no questions asked and no fear of prosecution.
Since the Safe Haven law went into effect in August of 2001 in Illinois, there have been 49 babies legally relinquished. Tragically, during this time there were 54 illegal abandonments and 27 of those infants did not survive.
For information on how to obtain a sign or about the law, go to www.SaveAbandonedBabies.org.
|SOURCE Save Abandoned Babies Foundation|
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