BENTON – A baby has been saved in Arkansas via the first surrender at a Safe Haven Baby Box in Benton, Arkansas Right to Life Executive Director Rose Mimms announced May 28.
On Sunday, May 24, at approximately 5:01 p.m. a newborn infant was placed in the Safe Haven Baby Box located at Benton Fire Station No. 3, 2717 Edison Ave., said Mimms. The Safe Haven Baby Box location in Benton was dedicated Sept. 18, 2019.
“We are grateful that the Safe Haven Baby Box provided this mother with a safe, anonymous surrender alternative for her and her child. I applaud her bravery and the sacrificial gifts of life and adoption that she has given her son through the Safe Haven Baby Box program,” said Mimms.
To announce additional details of the surrender, a press conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 29, at the location of the surrender in Benton, and will feature Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, said Mimms.
Arkansas Senator Cecile Bledsoe applauded the Arkansas Legislature for supporting the Safe Haven Law and the impact it is having on saving children.
“I am so grateful to my colleagues in the Legislature who joined with me to add the baby boxes to the Safe Haven law. A few days ago, instead of leaving a baby by the side of the road or on a doorstep, someone placed a new born baby in the Safe Haven Baby Box where the baby was warm and protected. Arkansas now has the first baby saved through the baby boxes …a beautiful and healthy baby boy! What a miracle! Jeremiah 1:5,” Bledsoe said in a statement.
Arkansas Right to Life has promoted the Safe Haven Law and Safe Haven Baby Boxes through an ongoing statewide billboard campaign that began in Harrison in June 2019. Since then, billboards have been placed in 13 Arkansas counties. Mimms stressed the importance of the billboard campaign and the importance of mothers knowing about the Safe Haven Law and the Safe Haven Baby Box hotline number (1-866-9922291) listed on all billboards.
“The Safe Haven Law can help a mother to safely surrender her child to an official location, hospital, law enforcement or manned fire department in Arkansas or anonymously in a Safe Haven Baby Box,” Mimms said.
The Safe Haven Law, enacted in Arkansas in 2001, is designed to protect babies from being hurt or killed from abandonment by parents who are unwilling or unable to provide parenting. Under the law, a parent may surrender an infant 30 days or younger at a hospital emergency room or law enforcement agency, but in 2019 the law was amended to include manned fire stations as a surrender location. The amended law, sponsored by Arkansas Sen. Bledsoe and Rep. Rebecca Petty, also approved the installation of Safe Haven Baby Boxes at surrender locations.
Arkansas Right to Life is the state affiliate of National Right to Life.