OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska’s governor is calling a special session of the legislature to fix the state’s unique safe-haven law, which allows parents to abandon children as old as 18.
Gov. Dave Heineman said in a statement released before a news conference that the session would begin Nov. 14.
Heineman said legislation will be introduced which has already been agreed to by most of the state’s 49 lawmakers. It would amend the law so it applies only to infants up to 3 days old.
Nebraska’s safe-haven law is the only one in the country that lets anyone leave a child as old as 18 at a state-licensed hospital without fear of prosecution for the abandonment.
Said Heineman: “This law needs to be changed to focus on its original intent, which is to protect infants.”
A 17-year-old was left at a Lincoln hospital Tuesday night, making him the 23rd child abandoned since the law took effect in July.