(Salt Lake City, UT) – The sentencing yesterday of Megan Huntsman, who took the lives of her six newborns following their births, is a tragedy that could have been prevented by knowing the resources that are available in communities throughout Utah. It is never too late to remind women and girls that there is help for unwanted and unintended pregnancies.
“The very sad story of Megan Huntsman doesn’t have to happen,” said Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake who sponsored the Safe Have legislation in 2001. “Safe Haven is an important law that saves babies’ lives by allowing a new mother to drop off her baby at any hospital, no questions asked. The infant will be cared for and placed in foster care until adopted.”
”Mothers need to know the importance of getting services for drug and alcohol dependence,” says Julia Robertson, Manager of the Utah Department of Health’s Safe Haven program. “The state’s local health departments are excellent resources for treatment,” she added.
In addition to receiving newborns, Utah hospitals with emergency rooms are required to deliver a baby if a mother comes to the facility saying she wants to have her baby there and then relinquish custody.
Since 2001, dozens of newborns have been saved by courageous mothers who chose to give their children a better chance at life through the Safe Haven law. Families should also be aware of crisis nurseries throughout the state that can be found by calling 2-1-1. For more information, visit www.utahsafehaven.org.
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Cyndi Bemis, UDOH
Rep. Patrice Arent