(WKBN) – The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has changed the options some people have if they don’t want to be parents.
Both Ohio and Pennsylvania have Safe Haven Laws.
Knowing your rights as a pregnant person is important.
If you are not ready to be a parent both Ohio and Pa. have laws in place so you can give the child up safely.
Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services provides resources online for people seeking information.
Only the birth parents can give up the child without facing consequences. The state says the baby must appear to not have been abused.
“Drop them off, no questions asked at the fire station, at the police station and at hospitals and they will take that child,” said Melissa Turner, a local church leader.
Melissa is a local church leader at the Faith Fellowship Church of God in Youngstown. She understands the struggles.
She and her husband had their first child before marriage. She credits their former church for encouraging her to keep her child.
Now, they are returning the favor to those who find themselves questioning what to do.
“We are going to wrap that mother in love, throw them a baby shower to supply all of their needs. And then, we want to partner with the mom from birth until age 5 to make sure that that baby and the mom have everything taken care of that they need,” said Turner.
This includes material things like clothing and baby formula. The church also provides counseling and mentoring.
With Roe overturned, Melissa says it is time for others to step up.
“It’s time for us to put our money where our mouth is and show communities all across the united states and Ohio, that we are here. We are going to support that mother. We are going to support that child,” Turner emphasized.
Melissa says that the support must come from a place without any judgment.
Faith Fellowship is just a phone call away and are readily available to assist those who are pregnant who need immediate support.
Ohio parents have up to thirty days and Pa. parents have 28 days since giving birth to give the baby up.
At this point, the baby will receive medical attention if needed.
The baby can be only be given up to the following: a medical worker within a hospital, a medical worker at a fire or emergency department or a peace officer with a law enforcement agency under Pa’s law.
Since Safe Haven’s inception in Pennsylvania, 51 newborns have been relinquished to hospitals and subsequently adopted.
Safe Haven Laws also allow birth parents to be unsure in the decision.
The department of human services says parents who change their minds can call the county children’s agency.
Here is a list of resources for pregnant women: