On Thursday, May 26, 2011, NYS Senator Eric Adams, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes held a press conference to announce the proposed legislation that will require high schools to make it part of their public health curriculum to teach students what to do if they give birth to an newborn infant that they do not want.
The new legislation would educate teens about Baby Safe Haven and other programs which allow a parent to abandon a newborn anonymously and without fear of prosecution as long as the baby is abandoned in a safe manner. The parent will not face criminal charges if the newborn is brought to a hospital or a staffed police station or fire station. This requirement for this education is currently in place in several states.
Senator Adams said, “Young people in this situation need our support, understanding and to be educated about the help that is available to them. This legislation is a win-win for both mother and child.”
Assemblyman Jeffries said, “The abandonment law is designed to protect both the health of newborn babies and mothers who might otherwise face criminal prosecution. But the law is meaningless if those it is designed to protect are not aware of its existence.”
District Attorney Hynes said, “The legislation is important because too many teenagers are unaware of their alternatives if they don’t want to keep their newborns. Many feel they are not ready to take care of a child. But throwing a baby in the trash is not an option.”
For more information about the Baby Safe Haven program, call your local fire house or the Baby Safe Haven Helpline at 1-877-796-HOPE. Further information is also available on the District Attorney’s Office’s Web site at www.brooklynda.org.