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Anti-abortion authorities are touting 'baby boxes' as an alternative to abortion. Who uses them?

Supporters pray over a baby box in Elwood, Indiana.
Supporters pray over a baby box in Elwood, Indiana.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, conservative activists have touted many alternatives to abortion they think will better serve the country’s birthing people.

One such avenue that’s raising eyebrows is the “baby box.” All states have “safe haven” laws on the books whereby a parent who’s just given birth may surrender a newborn anonymously to the state and avoid prosecution. In order to help them avoid shame, some states installed drop boxes at places like fire stations and hospitals where infants could be deposited for authorities to collect.

Many had gone unused. That is, until earlier this year.

Critics are calling the practice medieval. (Quite literally.)

How do these laws work? And what does the uptick in baby box use mean for the post-Roe United States?

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Barb Anguiano