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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 9, 2022 12:45 PM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Adding Urgent Care Centers to the Safe Haven Law
I plan to reintroduce Senate Bill 305 of the 2021-2022 session to amend Pennsylvania’s Newborn Protection Act by adding urgent care centers to the list of “safe havens” where a parent may surrender his or her newborn. Previous cosponsors included Senators Phillips-Hill, Martin, Bartolotta, J. Ward, Tartaglione, Kane, Haywood and Dush. This legislation unanimously passed the Senate last session, but did not receive consideration in the House.

Urgent care centers have been growing in popularity and number in recent years. According to the Urgent Care Association of America, 7,357 urgent care centers operated nationwide in 2016 – jumping by 10 percent in just one year. From most locations in the Commonwealth, several urgent care centers can be found within a ten-mile radius, both in free-standing buildings and in strip malls and office complexes. Staffed by trained medical personnel, they would be another safe place that could accept newborns, broadening the list of currently designated caregivers, which already includes hospitals, police stations and fire stations.

Safe Haven Laws, or “Baby Moses” Laws, have been passed in numerous states since the 1990s after a string of heart-breaking infanticide cases in the Midwest.

This bill and similar laws are designed to decriminalize the leaving of an unharmed infant with a responsible caregiver, protecting infants from harm by providing a warm, secure haven for them when a parent is no longer able to care for a child.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to protect newborns.

Introduced as SB267