Trenton, N.J. – Today, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation (S1126/A1380), sponsored by Assemblymen Anthony M. Bucco and Jay Webber, that requires high schools to teach students about New Jersey’s Safe Haven Infant Protection Act.
“We know the Safe Haven law is effective at preventing tragedy and now teenagers will be taught about this lifesaving program. The information given to these students will help them make the right decision,” said Bucco (R-Morris). “Young people are particularly susceptible to acting impulsively, especially when faced with an unwanted pregnancy. This law gives everyone a safety net.”
Seventy-two babies have been safely surrendered in New Jersey since the law passed in 2000. According to the Department of Children and Families, a South Jersey baby was saved as recently as two months ago.
“With this law, we ensure New Jersey remains a leader in offering compassionate outlets for parents in crisis,” said Webber (R-Morris). “Safe Haven education will let students know there is help available that protects both their babies and their anonymity.”
The Safe Haven law allows parents to drop off their unwanted and unharmed infants who are younger than 30 days old at police stations, emergency departments, first aid squads and fire stations with no questions asked and without fear of prosecution.
Public school students in grades 9 through 12 will start learning about the Safe Haven law starting in the 2020-2021 school year.