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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 13, 2017 12:10 PM
From: Representative Jesse Topper
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship: Amending the Newborn Protection Act
In the near future, I will introduce legislation amending Pennsylvania’s Newborn Protection Act. This piece is modeled after a newly enacted law in Ohio which provides for two things: (1) an expanded list of caregivers to whom a parent may surrender a newborn; and (2) a program to install incubators so that newborns who are surrendered may be kept safely in a controlled environment.

Under my legislation, emergency medical responders may accept newborns relinquished by a parent. Just as under existing law which requires that a parent go to a hospital or to a police station, my legislation requires a parent to go to the grounds of a fire station or other entity which employs an emergency medical responder in order to surrender a newborn. This is, of course, to protect the safety of the child.

In addition, my legislation provides that the places which accept newborns - - hospitals, police stations, and fire stations - - may have incubators available. Please note this is not a mandatory provision. I believe that a parent may be more likely to relinquish an infant if he can do so anonymously and in a controlled environment. Just like in Ohio, my legislation requires that an alarm is set off once a newborn is placed in the incubator. A 9-1-1 call is triggered if the personnel of a hospital, police station or fire station fail to respond within a reasonable amount of time. Finally, the Department of Health is required to promulgate regulations regarding the standards for incubators.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1139