ASAP Congratulates Debbie Haine Vijayvergiya, a co-founder of the ASAP Coalition on her valliant efforts in her daughter’s memory. The bill was unanamiously approved by the Senate and will go to the Assembly before crossing the Govenor’s desk for signature.
This bill requires the Department of Health to establish policies and procedures to ensure the dignified and sensitive management of each stillbirth and of a family’s grieving process. It would also require the Health Department to collect information on stillbirths. Click here to read more about this bill. Read the full text of the bill.TRENTON – The Senate on Monday approved Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s “Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act,” a bill that would provide needed research to find out more about stillbirths and set policies for the respectful treatment of families who experience the trauma of stillbirths. The bill, S-2843, was sent to the Assembly with a vote of 39 to 0. “Families experiencing a stillbirth can suffer severe anguish and many hospitals and health care facilities are not prepared to treat them with the sensitivity and dignity they need,” said Senator Weinberg. “This will establish policies and procedures to help them through this trauma and it will provide for the collection of information to learn more about these fetal deaths.” Stillbirths are unintended fetal deaths that occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy or involve the unintended death of a fetus weighing 350 grams or more. Approximately one in every 160 pregnancies in the United States ends in stillbirth each year, a rate which is high compared with other developed countries. Families experiencing a stillbirth suffer severe anguish, and many health care facilities in the state do not adequately ensure that they are treated with sensitivity and informed about what to expect when a stillbirth occurs, Senator Weinberg said. “Although studies have identified many factors that may cause stillbirths, researchers still do not know the causes of a majority of them,” said Senator Weinberg. “This bill will have information collected and made available to researchers seeking to prevent and reduce the incidence of stillbirths.” The issue was brought to the attention of Senator Weinberg by Debra Haine Vijayvergiya, who suffered a stillbirth in 2011.