Schmidt votes for bill allowing Baby Boxes

State Rep. Peter Schmidt, R-Bonduel, voted in favor of legislation that will provide parents a way to confidentially give up their newborn infants without facing charges.

Assembly Bill 369 would allow municipalities to install newborn infant safety devices.

“I am pro-life from conception to natural death,” Schmidt said. “We need to do everything possible to protect life, which this legislation does.”

Wisconsin’s current safe haven law allows parents to anonymously surrender a newborn infant believed to be under 72 hours old to designated authorities. However, the law does not explicitly address or permit the use of newborn infant safety devices, limiting relinquishment to in-person exchanges only.

Under this legislation, a newborn infant safety device, also known as a Baby Box, would be allowed at a hospital, fire station, or law enforcement building that is staffed around the clock. Since 2016, 14 states have adopted policies to allow for the use of Baby Boxes.

“There have been too many stories lately about newborn babies being abandoned and left to die,” Schmidt said. “In many communities, stigma often is attached with surrendering a baby, and this legislation will address that. Bottom line, this will save lives.”