Topper Bill to Save the Lives of Newborns Heads to Governor’s Desk
12/13/2017
HARRISBURG – Legislation by Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Franklin/Fulton) to allow parents who are in distress to relinquish newborns to emergency medical responders at fire and EMS stations is heading to the governor’s desk after it was unanimously approved in the House on Wednesday.

House Bill 1139 better protects newborns and ensures families have options in the most desperate of circumstances,” Topper said. “The legislation grows the list of locations to include fire stations where parents can surrender a newborn aged 28 days or less.”

Under current law, the Newborn Protection Act, infants can only be surrendered to medical staff at a hospital, or a police officer at a police station.

Topper’s legislation allows for infants to be relinquished at entities similar to fire stations that employ emergency medical responders. Additionally, the bill gives 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.

Under the act, once a newborn is surrendered, he or she is 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. Parents who surrender an infant at proper locations cannot be held criminally liable unless the newborn has been abused or is the victim of criminal conduct.

“The aim of this bill is to ensure the safety and well-being of innocent newborns,” Topper said. “I am grateful the bill will reach the governor’s desk for his signature and will help newborns have a chance to live the full, healthy lives they deserve.”

Wednesday’s vote came a day after the Senate amended the bill to require fire and EMS stations that accept newborns to post signs for at least the first 18 months indicating newborns can be relinquished at the site.

Representative Jesse Topper
78th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
717.260.6374
ggross@pahousegop.com
RepTopper.com / Facebook.com/RepTopper

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