The box is located at the rear of the building.
Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, Inc. unveils the 43rd Safe Haven Baby Box nationwide at the Lawrenceburg Fire Department. Photo by Travis Thayer, Eagle Country 99.3.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - A Safe Haven Baby Box can save a life.
When City of Lawrenceburg Mayor Kelly Mollaun was approached last year by Fire Chief Johnnie Tremain and EMS Director Rick Clark about the idea of bringing a Safe Haven Baby Box to Lawrenceburg, Mollaun said, "its probably the shortest meeting I've ever had."
"I said absolutely," said Mollaun. "This is something I know I can get behind, I know that our council can get behind, I know that this city will get behind it."
Fast forward to Thursday afternoon and a Safe Haven Baby Box was unveiled at the Lawrenceburg Fire Department on W. Tate Street.
Monica Kelsey, a medic and firefighter and founder of Safe Haven Baby Box, Inc., was on hand to help present the 43rd Safe Haven Baby Box nationwide.
"We have 50 states and there are only 43 boxes, so we have some work to do," said Kelsey. "I'm so thankful to the City of Lawrenceburg for taking this proactive approach to infant abandonment in this country and in their city."
Kelsey described her own abandonment in April of 1973. She spoke of her 17-year-old mother who was brutally attacked and raped, and how she was almost aborted before her mother realized she couldn't go through with it. All these years later, Kelsey is helping save lives.
"I'm still a human being and I still have value and my life isn't worth less simply because of the way I was conceived and I didn't deserve the death penalty for the crime of my biological father," said Kelsey.
Now, Kelsey stands on the front lines of the pro-life movement and the Safe Haven movement.
The Safe Haven Law allows a person to surrender a healthy newborn 30 days old or younger without fear of criminal prosecution. Indiana is one of five states with updated Safe Haven laws to offer a completely anonymous option in an effort to eliminate infant abandonment. Eight Infants have been placed in a Safe Haven Baby Box, with four of occurring in 2020.
Specific to the Lawrenceburg Safe Haven Baby Box, anyone mother can use it if they feel it is their last option. That includes mothers who travel across state lines from Ohio or Kentucky.
"As first responders we are all very excited that we have another way of helping the community to save lives," said EMS Director Rick Clark. "We want people to know across the region in the Cincinnati area that we are here for them 24/7 and that its a safe place to come."
The Baby Boxes have a heating and cooling feature and are equipped with alarm systems to notify 9-1-1 once the infant is placed in the medical bassinet. The newborn is retrieved from the inside of the building within minutes of the alarm notification.
"It represents no shame, it represents no name and it represents no blame," said Kelsey.
The Safe Haven Baby Boxes National 24-hour hotline (1-866-99BABY1) offers counseling services to a parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their newborn.
Outside and inside look at the Safe Haven Baby Box at the Lawrenceburg Fire Department. Photos by Travis Thayer, Eagle Country 99.3.