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New Mexico lawmakers propose $1 million for 'baby boxes'

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A bipartisan legislative proposal would fund “baby boxes” in every New Mexico county and allow parents of newborns to leave their babies anonymously.

The proposal comes in the wake of a near-tragedy in Hobbs, where police say an 18-year-old woman placed her baby in a dumpster. State law already allows parents to abandon newborns without facing criminal liability, but only if they approach police officers, firefighters or certain healthcare workers. Police are promising to increase awareness of the existing program.

Sponsors of the baby box legislation say the measure would further reduce unsafe child abandonment with the promise of anonymity.