Public Comments for: HB16 - Safe haven protections; newborn safety device at hospitals for reception of children.
Last Name: Good Locality: Suffolk

Dear Delegate, Protect religious freedom, vote YES for HB 306! Our religious freedoms do not end just because government bureaucrats declare a public health emergency. Our First Amendment rights apply at all times. Thank you, Kellie M. Good

Last Name: McCartney Locality: Newport news

Correction: Please vote YES for house bill 306! No one should be punished for exercising their right to religious freedom!!!!!

Last Name: McCartney Locality: Newport news

Please vote YES for house bill 106! No one should be punished for exercising their right to religious freedom!!!!!

Last Name: Lazowski Locality: Bedford

I am requesting you vote yes on HB 306. The State Health Commisioner has entirely too much power and this bill will protect our citizens from having to submit to unwanted therapies. Too much is being revealed about the Covid 19 vaccines and we can never, never let this happen again Thank you

Last Name: Kipley Organization: VA is for Children Locality: Richmond

Thank you, Chairman Orrock, and committee members. Thank you, patron, Delegate Fowler, for working to expand our state’s Safe Haven law. We are following the Safe Haven efforts and are fully supportive of the extension to thirty days of age for infant relinquishment. This is a reasonable, standard amount of time for a mom to decide if she can parent her baby. Such a significant, life-altering decision does not need to be rushed or hurried. We know that moms who have just given birth, especially those who are alone, need time to recover physically and emotionally (I speak from experience as a mom myself), and can experience postpartum depression after the birth of child, this typically occurs within the first 1-3 weeks after birth. Parents can be in desperate situations- experiencing homelessness, abuse, addiction and need time to get help. Twenty-one states are now at thirty days of age for relinquishment. Utah just extended their law to thirty days in February, 2020 and also approved funding for safe haven law awareness. We hope the committee will approve the extension and consider state funding for this law’s promotion/awareness. For Safe Haven laws to be effective, education and awareness is crucial. Not enough parents are informed about the law’s existence, the process involved, and the resources available to them. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Delegate Fowler and committee members for your time and for the opportunity to express our support for HB 16.

Last Name: Kipley Organization: Virginia is for Children Locality: Powhatan

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and committee members: Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB 16 and thank you, Delegate Fowler, for your work updating our state’s Safe Haven law. We, Virginia is for Children (an advocacy group for the lives of vulnerable children in our state), are following the Safe Haven law efforts and are fully supportive of the extension to thirty days of age for infant relinquishment. This is a reasonable, standard amount of time for a mom/parent to conclude that they cannot parent their baby OR, change their mind and decide they can parent their baby. Such a significant, life-altering decision does not need to be rushed or hurried. We know that moms who have just given birth, especially those who are alone, need time to recover physically and emotionally. Moms can experience postpartum depression after the birth of child, this typically occurs within the first 1-3 weeks after birth, parents can be in desperate situations- experiencing homelessness, abuse, addiction and need time to get help. Twenty-one states are now at thirty days for age of relinquishment. Utah just extended their law to thirty days in February, 2020 and approved funding for safe haven law awareness. Extending this law can potentially save more infants from abuse, neglect, and abandonment and give parents the time they need to make important decisions. We hope the committee will approve the extension and consider providing state funding for safe haven law awareness and promotion of safe haven locations or “safe baby sites”. Not enough parents are informed about the law’s existence and the process involved. Our group is especially interested in a state funded, DSS promoted, 24-hour confidential, crisis hotline that would provide intervention and support for women in crisis pregnancies and struggling parents, so that they can get the help they need to parent their baby. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and committee members for your time and for the opportunity to voice our support of this bill. Sincerely, Leah Kipley VA is for Children

Last Name: Szabuniewicz Organization: Virginia Catholic Conference Locality: Richmond

My name is Julia Szabuniewicz and I represent the Virginia Catholic Conference, and we support HB 16. This is a bill would further help mothers in crisis situations and provide only more resources for her and her newborn child. Many mothers-in-crisis are experiencing immense fear and uncertainty, and we believe providing a window of 30 days is a more flexible standard to provide these mothers. More infants will be saved by providing a larger window of time for women in these crisis situations and we hope the committee will support this expansion of our safe haven law. Ensuring the equipment that the baby has been placed fully ensures the child’s safety. We believe this is a positive improvement which expands the resources that mothers-in-crisis have while also ensuring the safety of the newborn child.

End of Comments