Iowa health officials applaud Nebraska Safe Haven change - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa health officials applaud Nebraska Safe Haven change

Iowa City (KWWL) -- Nebraska's Safe Haven law has created controversy -- leading to parents abandoning teenagers at hospitals. Three of them came from out of state -- including an Iowa teenager. Now, the much-maligned law will be retooled.

"This law needs to be changed to focus on its original intent, which is to protect infants," said Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman (R) in announcing a special session to revise the law.

Nebraska lawmakers have initially agreed to rewrite the law to only allow parents to abandon infants up to three days old. That's shorter than Iowa's 14-day safe haven law, but Iowa health officials say three-days should work, too.

"It's really for the intent of protecting newborn infants so I think whether it's 3 days or 14 days, it's much more consistent with the intent of the safe haven law," said Greg Jensen with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Iowa's safe haven law was adopted following the 2001 case of Nicole Plum. Police discovered the frozen body of Plum's abandoned baby in a snowy Tama county field. Plum was sentenced to ten years in prison.

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