Democratic Assemblyman Alberto Torrico says he was inspired to make the change to California’s Safely Surrendered Baby Law after a baby boy was found dead near his Bay Area home. His measure would extend the period from 72-hours to one month that a newborn can be surrendered without the mother facing prosecution. The bill was approved on the Assembly floor by a bi-partisan vote, but was not without opposition. Republican Assemblyman Tim Leslie says the bill de-values children.
“You know it could even be someone had a baby and thought they were going to enjoy the experience, and after thirty days of changing diapers thought this isn’t so great after all.”
But Torrico says three days is just not enough time for mothers—who are often still in the hospital.
“At it’s core the bill is about saving babies lives.”
The bill would also streamline the process for local governments to add fire stations to the list of safe surrender sites.