CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The South Carolina House passed a bill this week that amends the Safe Haven Law, otherwise known as Daniel’s Law.
Right now a parent can drop off an unwanted infant at a manned safe haven with no questions asked and no criminal prosecution.
However, the baby must be 60 days old or younger. The amended bill would change the age of the infant to one year old.
It passed the House with a unanimous vote.
The bill was created in response to several incidents in Horry County which led to the death of an infant, including the deaths of Baby Grace and Baby Boy Horry.
For someone to avoid criminal prosecution, they must be a parent or someone acting as a parent and must leave the baby with a staff member at a safe haven.
Safe haven include hospitals, police stations, fire houses and places of worship.
Pastor at Conway Centenary Methodist Church, Dennis Devorick, said he would rather someone come to his church than harm a child.
“Even if a person is at the point of desperation, if they give their child a second chance that they can’t provide themselves, that’s an act of love,” said Devorick. “Even though the person may be having mental health or distress in their life, I think that’s a great gift rather than them having to harm them.”
Horry County Representative Heather Ammons Crawford is one of the bill’s co-sponsors. She posted a picture of the unanimous vote to her Facebook page and said the vote was “great news.”
Rep. Crawford also released these numbers on times the Safe Haven Law was used in the past few years: