EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Right to Life of Southwest Indiana (RTLSWIN) and the City of Evansville are partnering to install two Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
Right to life officials say Indiana leads the nation with a total of 13 boxes located throughout the state.
A Baby Box is a safety device provided for under state’s Safe Haven Law and legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely, and anonymously surrender if she is unable to care for her newborn.
A Baby Box is installed in an exterior wall of a designated fire station or hospital.
It has an exterior door that automatically locks upon placement of a newborn inside the Baby Box, and an interior door that allows a medical staff member to secure the surrendered newborn from inside the designated building.
The city will partner with the Safe Haven Baby Boxes organization which will license the boxes to the installment locations.
Each temperature-controlled box has a multiple alarm system that sounds when a baby is placed in the confines of the box.
Locations have yet to be determined in Evansville, but are primarily housed at hospitals or fire stations where on-site medical personnel can be alerted immediately to the surrendered child.
Since September of 2019, three babies have been saved in Indiana from possible abandonment or death through the Safe Haven Baby Boxes; and, a total of nine babies have been saved since April 2016.
“With the Safe Haven Laws in place, there is no reason for a child to suffer through illegal abandonment,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “The two locations in Evansville will help parents in crisis to surrender without retribution.”
“Our mission at Right to Life of Southwest Indiana is to protect life, and we are delighted that the City of Evansville sees the importance of having the Safe Haven Baby Boxes within the community,” said Mary Ellen Van Dyke, Executive Director of Right to Life of Southwest Indiana. “These projects are being funded by Right to Life through our generous donors.”
RTLSWIN is responsible for all funds needed to purchase, install and maintain the baby boxes with no cost to the City of Evansville.
You can earmark donations with “Safe Haven Baby Boxes” if you would like to help Right to Life with the cost.