ST. PAUL, Minnesota (WXOW) - The death of a newborn child found in the Mississippi River near Winona last year leads to changes in a Minnesota law.
Effective Wednesday, changes to a Minnesota law give more options for legally abandoning a newborn baby. The law says parents can call 911 for an ambulance or take the newborn to an urgent care clinic or hospital within seven days.
This adds four days compared to the old law enacted in 2000 that required parents to turn over an unwanted newborn within three days.
The old law was among the strictest in the nation.
Minnesota's Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson pushed for the new law after the body of a baby girl was found floating in a canvas bag in the Mississippi River near Winona last fall. The identity of "Baby Angel" is still unknown.
Jesson also cited three similar infant deaths in southeastern Minnesota near Red Wing that occured in 1999, 2003, and 2007. The first two infants likely had the same mother according to authorities.
The law also gives mothers the chance to reclaim their abandoned child if they change their minds.
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