Statement issued Thursday:
The McMillen Center for Health Education will partner with the National Safe Haven Alliance in Falls Church, VA to integrate education about Indiana’s Safe Haven law into sexuality and teen pregnancy prevention programming for students in grades 8 through 12.
Indiana’s Safe Haven law allows a parent to relinquish a baby who is less than 45 days old at a hospital, police station, fire department, or to an EMS worker without fear of prosecution. The recent newborn abandonment in Auburn has highlighted the need to provide education to teens on the Safe Haven law.
“We received a call from one of our supporters who asked if we cover the Safe Haven information in our programming. I told her we didn’t currently, but there was no reason we couldn’t incorporate it into our programs. It’s information teens need to learn while they are still in school so we might prevent another case of a baby being abandoned” said Holli Seabury, CEO of the McMillen Center.
“We are delighted that McMillen Center is taking this on,” said Bob Floyd, Fort Wayne resident and board member with the NSHA. “Our experience across the country suggests that exposing middle school and high school students to the safe haven law helps prevent unsafe abandonments of newborns.”
Schools in Indiana are not currently mandated to teach Safe Haven education, unlike states such as Illinois which require that information about the law be taught in schools.
The McMillen Center will also provide teachers with a fact sheet about the Indiana Safe Haven law and contact numbers for teens who have questions about relinquishing a baby.
The McMillen Center for Health Education’s mission is to provide vital and effective, preventive health education programs that promote physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.
The McMillen Center fulfills its mission by providing fact based health topics and by promoting responsibility in health choices and decision making. Programs are presented by a professional health educator annually to over 40,000 youth nationwide.