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As abortion debate intensifies, national Safe Haven laws highlight options for mothers

Workers with the Safe Haven Crisis Line are taking calls from mothers who are looking to legally give up their newborns.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As the debate over abortion rights intensifies, Pam Stenzel is working to prevent parents from illegally abandoning their newborns. 

"We helped six moms make a Safe Haven surrender and babies are already being placed with their adoptive families," she told First Coast News. 

She's part of the team who answers calls into the National Safe Haven Crisis Line, mostly from mothers who are looking to relinquish their babies in a safe and legal way.

Stenzel's been open about her own story. She was conceived through rape. 

Her mother decided not to have an abortion, and gave her up for adoption. 

"Obviously, she had a lot of difficult choices to make, finding herself in that circumstance," Stenzel said. "I actually don't believe that I deserve the death sentence because of the crime of my biological father."

She also works with mothers who've experienced unplanned pregnancies. One of her clinics is in Gainesville.

With the Supreme Court poised to possibly overturn Roe v Wade, she says pregnancy clinics will play an even more important role, as abortion rights would be up to each state.

"Most women feel when they are in a crisis that they don't realize they had any other choice but that. So, it's important that they take the time when they find out they are pregnant to think about all of the options in front of them," Stenzel said. 

For more information about Safe Haven and the 24-hour hotline, click here

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