Topper Bill to Protect Newborns Approved by House Judiciary Committee
HARRISBURG – Legislation by Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Franklin/Fulton) that would amend the Newborn Protection Act to make it easier for new parents to relinquish unwanted or impossible-to-care-for newborns to caregivers gained unanimous approval by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

House Bill 1139 would give new parents additional options to hand newborns over to the appropriate authorities who would make sure the infants receive proper medical treatment and care,” Topper said. “This bill aims to save the lives of the innocent newborns and helps ensure they have a chance to live full, healthy lives.”

Topper’s legislation would expand the list of caregivers who could accept relinquished newborns to include emergency services providers at fire stations, or similar entities that employ emergency medical responders. The Newborn Protection Act currently only allows hospitals and police stations to accept newborns.

Additionally, the bill would give fire stations, hospitals and police stations the option to install incubators to receive newborns. Should an infant be left in an incubator, a 9-1-1 call would be automatically triggered if an onsite response isn’t made within a reasonable time. The state Department of Health is required to publicize regulations regarding the standards for incubators.

The Newborn Protection Act allows a parent to give up an infant who is 28 days or younger to a health care provider at a hospital or a police officer at a police station. The newborn is then placed into protective custody and must undergo a medical evaluation. The county children and youth agency and local police or state police must also be contacted.

Under the act, parents who surrender an infant at a hospital or police station cannot be held criminal liable unless the newborn has been abused or is the victim of criminal conduct.

“My bill would further amend the criminal liability portion of the Newborn Protection Act to include parents who relinquish an infant to an emergency service provider at a fire station,” Topper said.

House Bill 1139 goes to the full House for a vote.

Representative Jesse Topper
78th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
717.260.6374 /

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