The ASAP Coalition watches legislation that may have an influence on or impmact stillbirth awareness & research. You can help in ways indicated for each listed below.
New Jersey Senate approves ‘STILLBIRTH RESEARCH AND DIGNITY ACT’
ASAP applauds the tireless advocacy efforts of stillbirth mother and ASAP co-founder Debbie Haine Vijayvergiya. As a result of her efforts, The Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act was strongly supported and passed the New Jersey state Senate in June. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Dawn Marie Addiego (R-Burlington), requires the state to establish policies and procedures for the dignified and sensitive management of each stillbirth, in consultation with nursing, psychology and social work professionals.
The state will also be required to establish protocols for evaluating fetal death to ensure doctors and hospitals report accurate and complete data to the state. With that information, state health officials can create a database to increase knowledge of stillbirth. Ultimately, it may help find a way to prevent and reduce the incidence of stillbirth. For additional information contact Debbie@dlh-associates.com.
Read this great news article! Read more…..
This is the first and only federal legislation that holds promise of collecting comprehensive and consistent data on thousands of babies who die each year inexplicably to stillbirth and sudden unexpected death in infancy and childhood (SIDS/SUID/SUDC).
Sadly, we learned recently of the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). As the lead sponsor of this bill in the last two legislative sessions and its reintroduction in February of this year, Lautenberg was a true advocate for our nation’s most precious resource – our children.
In his memory, let’s continue the fight to get these bills through committee and signed into law this year!
Learn more and act today!
The Farley-Kluger Initiative began in January, 2011 as a grass-roots advocacy effort to petition change. Inspired by these efforts, Senator Jon Tester (MT) has introduced S. 226 – The Parental Bereavement Act of 2013 in the U.S. Senate and Congressman Steve Israel (NY) has introduced H.R. 515 – The Parental Bereavement Act of 2013 (aka Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act) in the U.S. House of Representatives in the new 113th Congress. Support needs to be given to this issue in both the House and the Senate.
The issue with the current FMLA is that it does not extend benefits to employees that have experienced the death of a child. Initiated by Kelly Farley, founder of the Grieving Dads Project (www.grievingdads.com) and Barry Kluger, author and grieving father, the goal is to modify the existing FMLA to expand coverage and existing benefits to employees experiencing the death of a child, regardless of the age of the child. Currently, most employers offer 2-3 days of bereavement leave. The Parental Bereavement Act would mandate up to 12-weeks unpaid leave.
Brief overview of the current FMLA Learn more and sign the petition
Email, write or call your representatives in the Senate and House
Currently there is no standard federal definition of stillbirth nor is there a standard protocol for the collection of stillbirth data, making any comprehensive research effort into the causes and prevention of stillbirth nearly impossible. These parents and their babies deserve more. This bill was introduced by Congressman Peter King (R-NY) and addresses all of the problems with current stillbirth data collection methods and a lack of public awareness. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) has signed on as a lead co-sponsor. Learn more about this bill. Read the full text of H.R.2365
Take action today! Contact your congressional leaders and urge them to co-sponsor this bill (be sure to include your personal story). Visit www.house.gov and www.senate.gov to obtain contact information for your representatives. Email, write or call them to make an appointment to visit their office. Here is a sample letter.
- The Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2013 (H.R.2365)