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Safe Haven Baby Box

Source: Facebook / Safe Haven Baby Box

LAWRENCE, IND — Safe Haven Baby Box founder Monica Kelsey’s mother was 17 years old when she was raped and left on the side of the road for dead. Thankfully, her attacker was eventually arrested and prosecuted, but the consequences of that vicious act would change the trajectory of not only her mother’s life but her life.


On Thursday, during the most recent baby box blessing at the Lawrence Fire Department, Kelsey shared her story, reinforcing her commitment to saving Hoosier newborns. At the same time, reassuring mothers who need to make the difficult decision that they have options that don’t include abortion.


Kelsey said her mom was attacked in 1972, and she got pregnant when abortion wasn’t allowed in the U.S.


“I am not here to debate abortion,” she said. “I’m just stating the facts. This 17-year-old girl was strong enough to press charges against a man who had raped her, and he was arrested, and he was charged. If that wasn’t the worst, when her (mother’s) life was finally getting back to normal, she found out she was pregnant. She gave birth in April of 1973 and abandoned her child two hours after the child was born, and that child was me.”


Kelsey explained that the Lawrence baby box was being installed on the anniversary of Baby Amelia being abandoned. She was found dead on December 18, 2014 in Indianapolis. Her legacy lives on in the Safe Haven Baby Boxes’ logo.


Baby Box is a safe and legal option for surrendering newborn infants. It has three silent alarms that alert first responders to the presence of an abandoned baby. The baby is taken to the hospital for evaluation, and adoption is done within 30-45 days.


“This year alone, we have had eight newborns in Indiana in boxes; we are the frontrunners in this country saving the lives of children,” added Kelsey.


In 2017, the first Baby Box surrender took place. Since then, 37 infants have been placed in a Baby Box. Over 130 surrenders resulted from calling the National Safe Haven Baby Box hotline. Safe Haven Baby Boxes are available in Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, West Virginia, and Mississippi.