MENDHAM, N.J. – Assemblywoman Aura Dunn attended the annual memorial service for “Baby Mary,” a newborn girl who was abandoned and found dead near a stream in a secluded area of Mendham Township on Christmas Eve 1984.
“My commendations and sincere gratitude go to the Mendham Township Police who have revered baby Mary’s life since 1984 when her newborn body was found abandoned by a river on Christmas Eve,” said Dunn (R-Morris). “I am pleased to be a part of this annual service. May she remain a beacon of hope and light for us all this holiday season.”
Dunn said she is closely monitoring the implementation of a new law mandating instruction about the state’s Safe Haven Infant Protection Act for all high school students in health and physical education classes. New Jersey parents can leave a newborn at a hospital, EMT headquarters, police or fire station without any legal repercussions up to 30 days after the child is born.
“My college-age daughters were not familiar with the Safe Haven program when we discussed its importance at the dinner table last night,” continued Dunn. “It was then I knew the implementation of the recently enacted law requiring schools to inform students about the program must be closely monitored to ensure no young mother and father feels helpless, alone or ashamed.”
At least 72 unwanted babies have been saved since the Safe Haven law took effect in 2000.