Last night, Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, announced on her Beyond the Box Facebook broadcast that her organization will open its first Baby Box in Florida (Location unknown at this time.). Baby Boxes resemble bank and library book depositories and contain a device similar to a baby incubator. They are installed on the outside walls of designated services, such as fire and police stations and hospitals, and allow “desperate women” to drop their newborns in the box anonymously and walk away.
Earlier this year H1217 a bill to amend Florida’s Safe Haven Law to include Baby Box use died in the Senate Health Policy Committee when committee chair Lauren Book refused to give the bill a hearing and release it for a floor vote. The bill had already passed the House 115-2
Bastard Nation submitted written testimony to the Senate committee to oppose the bill. Other opposition came from A Safe Haven for Newborns, the pioneer Safe Haven advocacy organization in Miami operated by Nick Silverio, which along with the National Safe Haven Alliance opposes Baby Boxes. I wrote about the bill here.
Now we learn that there is nothing in Florida’s current Safe Haven law to prohibit Baby Box use in the state. Kelsey’ says the SHBB “legal team” went to work on legislators, and the first box is a go:
So, I am here to tell you tonight that within the next 30 days a box will go live in the state of Florida. You heard it here tonight. For the first time, it will go. We are not going to announce where it’s going to go because our friend from Massachusetts Mr Morrissey * will probably be trying to call every county in the state of Florida to talk them out of it. However, the box has already been delivered the hole is already in the wall. This is already moving. And it’s . . . it’s not going to stop. And we’re super excited about that.
During Tuesday’s broadcast Kelsey and Kevin Albin, an SHBB activist in Delaware, Ohio said that Florida has had 20 unsafe abandonments since 2017. Kelsey said “deaths;” Albin said “unsafe abandonments.“ I don’t know where SHBB got its figures, but whether dead or alive, the numbers don’t jibe with statistics posted on the SHN website. According to Silverio’s numbers, there have been 8 known unsafe abandonments in that timeframe. Cases aren’t broken down by alive and deceased, but the total indicates that since 2000 there have been 64 known discards—30 alive and 34 dead. This year 12 Safe Haven events have occurred with no known discards. I don’t know whose figures are correct (if either) but the discrepancy is too wide not to be questioned The numbers need to be documented.
This SHBB incursion into Florida surprises me, yet it doesn’t. I figured the bill would return next year and eventually get pushed through, since lawmakers can’t resist feel-good bills, especially in the Age of Covid, that don’t cost taxpayers a dime. (Baby Boxes are privately funded). I didn’t expect a unilateral move into the state. My bad, since I didn’t check into how the current Safe Haven law is written. I expect more of these incursions. In fact, I suspect that there is nothing in any state’s law to stop an SHBB invasion nationwide.
This is what does surprise me: Nick Silverio enjoys enormous credibility with Florida power brokers regarding Safe Haven issues. The SHN board of directors is a group of distinguished health and safety delivery professionals and business operators. Its Advisory Board includes former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, 9th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Faye Allen …and even Senator Marco Rubio. I don’t know if Silverio is even aware of this end run, but I hope a word from him to these allies can at least send a public fuss about the soon-to-be box installation since Silverio has already made his objections public. God knows, nobody cares what Class Bastard has to say about it.
The SHBB goal is to place Baby Boxes in every state by 2025. As of this writing Indiana hosts 48 Safe Baby Boxes with about 25 more in various stages of planning. Arkansas has 1 with another reportedly on the way, and Ohio has 3 with another scheduled to be opened soon.
*Mike Morrisey from the outlier Baby Safe Haven New England. Morrisey has a long history of harassing anyone, including the National Safe Haven Alliance, who disagrees with him on any subject. For at least 5 years he has run a crazy war against Kelsey through literally hundreds of posts on social media and news outlets. He has repeatedly demanded her arrest for fraud claiming that that Baby Boxes are a scam and illegal, which they clearly are not. Morrisey has harassed me for 20 years, including calling the cops on me, simply because I oppose Safe Haven laws. Over 2 years ago Kelsey won a $40,000 judgment against Morrisey for slander, defamation, interference with contracts, and harassment. He has yet to pay up and is currently under an Indiana extradition order to serve time for contempt of the court order, including continued cyberbullying. Morrisey represented himself in court–and you know what they say about that. For more on Mad Mike type his name in the Daily Bastardtte search engine. I’ve written about him extensively.
Originally published in The Daily Bastardette on November 4, 2020.