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NJ Plans Campaign to Offer Baby Safe Haven

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  • NJ Plans Campaign to Offer Baby Safe Haven

    NEW JERSEY
    http://1010wins.com/topstories/winst...020201921.html

    NJ Plans Campaign to Offer Baby Safe Haven

    Jan 20, 2004 8:08 pm US/Eastern
    (1010 WINS) (TRENTON) New Jersey plans an advertising and outreach campaign to
    publicize a law that allows parents to drop off unwanted newborns without fear
    of prosecution.

    The move comes after three separate incidents this month in which babies were
    abandoned. One was found washed up on a beach, another was left alive in a
    toilet and a third was left outside in a plastic bag.

    Newly-appointed Human Services Commissioner James Davy said today the state
    would spend 400-thousand dollars on the campaign to advertise the Safe Haven
    Infant Protection Act.

    Another 100-thousand will be spent on assisting community-based groups spread
    the message of the program and its hot line.

    The hotline number is 8-7-7 8-3-9 2-3-3-9.

    (© MMIV Infinity Broadcasting Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not
    be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press
    contributed to this report. )

    NEW JERSEY
    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wi...20jan20,0,4833
    769.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire

    State plans campaign to discourage dumping of newborns

    By TOM BELL
    Associated Press Writer

    January 20, 2004, 6:04 PM EST


    TRENTON, N.J. -- State officials plan an advertising and community outreach
    campaign to keep parents from dumping newborns in New Jersey, where just this
    month one infant's body washed up on the beach, one was left alive in a toilet
    and a third was left outside in a plastic bag.

    Dina Matos McGreevey, the wife of the governor, will be the voice of the
    television and radio ads about the Safe Haven Infant Protection Act, which
    allows parents to drop off unwanted newborns at hospitals or police stations
    without fear of prosecution.

    The act became law in August 2000 and officials planned to launch the awareness
    campaign in the spring but decided to move it up after the three cases
    involving newborns this month.

    In the latest instance, the body of a 6-pound newborn girl was found on the
    beach in Ventnor on Saturday. An autopsy revealed the infant was strangled and
    had been in the water for up to two days. Police are investigating the case as
    a homicide.

    That followed a case in Mount Ephraim on Jan. 3 in which a woman was charged
    with attempted murder after police said she gave birth into a toilet and tried
    to kill her premature daughter by closing the lid. The baby was rescued by the
    woman's live-in boyfriend.

    On the same day in Trenton, a woman gave birth in a crack house and put the
    baby in a plastic bag and left the infant outside, officials said. That newborn
    also survived.

    James Davy, the newly appointed state Human Services commissioner, said Tuesday
    that $400,000 would be spent on the advertising campaign from money budgeted
    under the Safe Haven act. Another $100,000 will be spent on assisting
    community-based groups spread the message of the program and its hot line:
    (877)839-2339.

    "I want to flood the neighborhoods," Davy said. "I want to reach people where
    they live, where they work, where they shop and in the language which they
    speak."

    Fourteen babies have been dropped off at hospitals since the act went into
    effect. Another 14 newborns have been abandoned elsewhere in that time and
    three of them died.

    Sen. Diane Allen, R-Burlington, a sponsor of the legislation that became the
    Safe Haven Act, said she wanted the McGreevey administration to spend even more
    on the outreach campaign.

    "I believe we can save many more lives with increased funding," Allen said. "It
    is my hope that we can dedicate another $100,000 to the effort."

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