Lawmaker: Health department didn’t comply with baby box law

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A state legislator says the Indiana Department of Health has ignored a law requiring it to prepare guidelines for installing “baby boxes” in which women could anonymously leave unwanted newborns.

safe haven baby box
A Safe Haven baby box

A state commission voted last fall against recommending adoption of the boxes, citing concerns about costs and potential liability. But Republican Rep. Casey Cox of Fort Wayne says the health department was supposed to give legislators information to consider how the boxes could be safely implemented.

He says in a letter that the department’s report “subverts the legislative process and ignores the obligations required of it under Indiana law.”

Health department spokeswoman Jennifer O’Malley says the agency will work with Cox to address his concerns.

Cox wants the department to provide guidelines for the boxes’ use within 60 days.

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