Justice Amy Coney Questions Safe Haven Laws – Latest News

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : December 23, 2021

Nicole Olson has wanted a baby badly for years. She had gone through a long and rigorous adoption process which was also very emotionally taxing. 

Justice Amy Coney Questions Safe Haven Laws – Latest News

A call was received by Olson and her husband asking whether they wanted to adopt a newborn baby.

Through safe haven law, the baby had been relinquished. Parents, according to this law, are allowed to leave their baby at a safe location with 0 criminal consequences. These laws exist in every state.

Justice Amy Coney Questions Safe Haven Laws - Latest News

In response to reports of baby killings and abandonments in the early 200s, the laws began to pass in the state legislature as they received a lot of media attention.

According to the CDC, on the first day of their life, infants are at the highest risk of being killed.

By dinnertime, Olson was home with her newborn baby and tons of baby products that she picked up at Target. 

Olson said that after 10 years, the entire family is thriving. The baby boy is athletic, funny and even after the rough pandemic, he has adjusted well.

Amy Coney drew attention to safe haven laws as she said that they play a role in the debate that surrounds abortion rights. The comments were made by Barrett during a hearing of a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. 

Abortion was legalized throughout the country in 1973 due to Roe v. Wade. This case could be overruled by the current law.

Barrett has opposed abortion for a very long time. She said that safe havens would take care of babies who have mothers that do not want to be forced into parenthood.

The argument was rebutted by Julie Rikelman, who said that abortion rights don’t just prevent forced parenthood but also prevent forced pregnancy.

She said that unique physical demands had been placed on women, and an impact has been made on all their lives. She said that the risks for women in Mississippi are particularly high.

A family knows who the mother is in a traditional adoption. They often keep a relationship with her, and they have her medical history.

After years of trying other routes, Olson and her husband expected to adopt a child in this manner. Their son Paul was also keen on having a sibling.

The couple did not have any information on their baby when they met him. They did not know when he was born, what race he was, or what medical history he had.

Olson said that they did not know what they were walking into and that it was just a total leap of faith. She said that regardless of whether the child is biological or adopted, this holds true.

Almost everyone supports safe haven laws. They say that even if one baby is saved, it is worthwhile. The efficacy of such laws has been questioned by some.

Adam Pertman thinks that it is flawed from the very beginning as a woman who would put her child in the trash can will not look at a sign and agree to go to the police station.

He said that these laws do not provide a woman with the tools they need if they are actually in such a crisis where she would hurt her child.

He said that restricting abortion access could result in way more children being left at safe havens. This would mean that they would not be adopted the traditional way.

The numbers of babies that are turned over through safe haven laws are not being tracked by any national database.

Since 1999, over 4,000 babies have been surrendered this way.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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