Introduced by Senator Leddy of Chittenden District and Senator Doyle of Washington District
Subject: Crimes; abandonment of babies; safe haven
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to establish a safe haven defense to the crime of abandoning a baby for a person who leaves a baby with a responsible person at a hospital, police station, or fire station.
AN ACT RELATING TO A SAFE HAVEN DEFENSE TO THE CRIME OF ABANDONING A BABY
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. SHORT TITLE
This act shall be known as the “Baby Safe Haven Law.”
Sec. 2. 13 V.S.A. § 1303 is amended to read:
§ 1303. ABANDONMENT OR EXPOSURE OF BABY
person who abandons or exposes a child under the age of two years
whereby the life or health of such child is endangered , shall be
imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.
(b)(1) It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant voluntarily delivered the child to a responsible person at a police station, fire station, or hospital as defined in subdivision 1902(1) of Title 18.
(2) The department for children and family services shall develop and implement a public information program to increase public awareness about the provisions of the Baby Safe Haven Law. The program shall include:
(A) educational materials in print, audio, video, and electronic media;
(B) public service announcements and advertisements; and
(C) establishment of a toll-free telephone hotline which provides information about the Baby Safe Haven Law.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street