Kentucky received its first surrendered infant at one of its “baby boxes,” reports Fox News.
The baby was left anonymously at the Bowling Green Fire Department, where the firemen attended to the infant within 90 seconds, announced Safe Haven Baby Boxes CEO Monica Kelsey in a news conference last Friday.
Safe Haven currently operates over 130 baby boxes in nine states. Kentucky’s first surrendered baby marks the 24th left at the company’s locations nationwide.
Andy Beshear, Kentucky’s Democratic governor, signed a law in 2021 allowing for the creation of drop-off boxes. The locations must be at police departments, fire stations, or hospitals that are monitored 24 hours a day with a system to notify attendants when a baby is dropped off. The boxes have an outer door that locks once the baby is placed inside with an interior door through which an attendant can retrieve the surrendered infant.
Priscilla Pruitt, who works for Save Haven, told the BBC that these boxes are a last resort for mothers who “don’t want to be known or seen, especially in small towns where everyone knows everyone.”
During arguments in Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Amy Coney Barrett noted that safe haven laws offer an alternative to abortion.
Safe haven laws allow someone to legally give up a child to authorities within a few days of birth. But baby drop boxes resembling post boxes only date back to 2016 in the United States.
Indiana legislators added a provision to allow baby drop boxes at fire stations to an abortion bill in 2018.
In 2020, Hunter Wart of Indiana raised $10,000—largely through collecting scrap metal—to pay for a Safe Haven drop box for the Seymour Fire Department as part of his high school senior project. Within six months of installation, the Seymour firemen were alerted to a one-hour-old baby girl inside.
Despite easing alternatives to infanticide, however, many abortion advocates remain unconvinced. In a letter to The New York Times editor, J. Mundy-Rosner of Gig Harbor, Washington opined that “to see [baby drop boxes] as a solution that is preferable to abortion is heartless and impractical.”
Kentucky presently has 16 baby drop box locations. Nancy Tate, the Republican state representative who sponsored the legislation authorizing them, told WNKY-TV that she hopes to eventually see one in every county.
This news and commentary by Jacob Grandstaff originally appeared on Valiant News.