Nebraska lawmakers are ready to change the state’s controversial Safe Haven law. Nebraska’s law is the only one in the country that lets anyone leave a child as old as 18 at a state-licensed hospital without fear of prosecution.
At least 18 children, including a teenage girl from Iowa, have been abandoned at hospitals in the Husker state since July. Mike Flood is the Nebraska Legislative Speaker. He says a majority of the state senators that he’s talked with support amending the law so it only applies to infants up to 3 days old.
Nebraska Senator Arnie Stuthman introduced the Safe Haven bill and says it was not intended to create such controversy. "I had never dreamt this Safe Haven law would turn into something like this, but the good part of this is that fact there is a need that has arisen for people to address," Stuthman said.
The change will be made at the beginning of the Legislative Session in January or during a special session, but Governor Dave Heineman is hoping that will not be needed. Earlier this month, a Council Bluffs couple dropped off their teenage grandchild at an Omaha hospital but later decided to take the girl back into their home.