February 26, 2018

Baby Boxes Expansion Added Into Abortion Measure

Article origination IPBS-RJC
A House committee couldn't hear the baby box expansion bill in the session's second half. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A House committee couldn't hear the baby box expansion bill in the session's second half.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A bill to expand access in Indiana to baby boxes won’t advance any further this session. Baby boxes are meant to be a more anonymous way for people to drop off unwanted newborns.

Still, the expansion effort is alive and well – in a separate piece of legislation.

A 2017 measure allowed hospitals to house the devices. Last year’s law also grandfathered-in the state’s two existing baby boxes, which are in volunteer firehouses.

This year’s measure would allow all firehouses staffed 24-7 to install them.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Greg Steuerwald (R-Danville) says he has no problem with the bill – but didn’t have time in the session’s second half to hear it.

So lawmakers added the entire bill’s language to a separate measure: an abortion bill. Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) is the baby box bill’s sponsor. He says he’s confident there won’t be any issues – even though abortion legislation attracts more opposition.

“Even though there is controversy, there’s usually a few Democrats that add their name to it,” Carbaugh says. “And I’m hoping that’s the case again and maybe the baby box helps them out a little bit.”

The abortion bill – with the baby box expansion provision – is currently on the House floor.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

 

Related News

Funding for coal miners with black lung disease slashed when Build Back Better failed
Indiana lawmakers holding off on major anti-abortion bills until after Supreme Court rules
Every kid younger than 6 would be screened for lead in Indiana under state House bill