The following is a press release from Arkansas Right to Life.
BENTON – A baby has been surrendered at one of Benton’s two Safe Haven Baby Boxes. It is the second baby surrendered in Benton and the fourth surrender in the state.
It is the second time a baby box has been used in Benton. The first baby was surrendered in May 2020 at the same Benton Fire Station.
“We are grateful that the Safe Haven Baby Box provided this mother with a safe, anonymous surrender alternative for her and her child. I applaud her bravery and the sacrificial gifts of life and adoption that she has given her son through the Safe Haven Baby Box program,” said Mimms.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes are installed on the exterior wall of a designated fire station or hospital. Other boxes are located in Rogers, Springdale, Mountain Home, Jonesboro, Conway, Fort Smith, Maumelle, DeQueen, Nashville, Magnolia, and El Dorado.
Arkansas Right to Life has promoted the Safe Haven Law through a billboard campaign that began in Harrison in June 2019. Since then, billboards have been placed in 30 Arkansas counties.
Mimms stressed the importance of the billboard campaign and the importance of mothers knowing about the Safe Haven Law and the Safe Haven Baby Box hotline number listed on all billboards.
“The Safe Haven Law can help a mother to safely surrender her child to an official location, hospital, law enforcement or manned fire department in Arkansas or anonymously in a Safe Haven Baby Box,” she said.
The Safe Haven Law, enacted in Arkansas in 2001, is designed to protect babies from being hurt or killed from abandonment by parents who are unwilling or unable to provide parenting. Under the law, a parent may give up an infant anonymously at a hospital emergency room or law enforcement agency, but in 2019 the law was amended to include manned fire stations as a surrender location. The amended law sponsored by Arkansas Sen. Bledsoe and Rep. Rebecca Petty also approved the installation of newborn safety devices at surrender locations.