Mo. bill allows more time to give up newborns

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Parents could give up newborn babies without legal consequences 45 days after birth under a bill given first-round approval by the Missouri Senate.

The measure endorsed Tuesday increases parents’ “safe harbor” period from the current five-day window.

Parents of newborns can currently hand over a baby to medical professionals, firefighters, emergency medical technicians or law enforcement. The legislation would add pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes to that list.

Sponsoring Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Republican from Kansas City, says his measure would help protect children from being abused or neglected by parents unfit to care for their child.

His bill also includes a provision requiring students attending a public university to be vaccinated for meningitis if they live in on-campus housing and do not have religious objections.

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