Pregnancy is complicated. There’s a lot of moving parts – a lot of things that can go wrong. That’s a major reason why stillbirth is so mysterious. The CDC collects some basic information about stillbirth, and some states collect information from test results, but tests are inconsistent even within the same state. If we don’t know the causes, we can’t learn how to prevent it. And parents of stillborn babies have to live without answers. We need nation-wide data to learn how to reduce stillbirths and to help parents and their babies!
Legislation has been proposed in the US Senate and House to help solve this problem. The bills are in committee now, and they need our voices to push them along! The bills are S314 and HR669 – and the text is the same in each (it’s written in plain language so . The title is: Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act. It addresses lack of data for not just stillbirth but SIDS as well, with increased reporting requirements, more research, and funding for awareness.
NICHD (NIH’s child health institute) does some research and awareness (like the Safe to Sleep campaign) but they just don’t have the money. This legislation would provide some funding to them and demonstrate the will for more attention on these issues to NICHD and other agencies.
You can help by sending a letter to your legislators using this easy pre-filled form at Voter Voice. Please send the message to your legislators but even better – call them or stop by their offices to drop off a letter in person! Here’s where you can find the phone numbers: Senate and House.
Below is the current list of co-sponsors, be sure to thank your legislator if he or she is on the list! One big question I have is – Where are the Republicans? Surely they care about babies, too? Representative Pete King is looking mighty lonely on this list.
Stillbirth and SIDS don’t care if the parents are Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, northern or southern or eastern or western, what color you are, how old you are… it can happen to anyone. That’s why this legislation is so important.
Thanks so much to the Franks from New Jersey (Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Frank Pallone) for introducing this legislation!
- Sen. Frank Lautenberg [D-NJ] (introduced Feb 13, 2013)
- Franken, Alan “Al” [D-MN] (joined May 07, 2013)
- Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN] (joined May 07, 2013)
- Johnson, Tim [D-SD] (joined Jun 06, 2013)
- Leahy, Patrick [D-VT] (joined Jul 29, 2013)
- Reed, John “Jack” [D-RI] (joined Jul 30, 2013)
- Menéndez, Robert “Bob” [D-NJ] (joined Jul 31, 2013)
- Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. [D-NJ6] (introduced Feb 13, 2013)
- King, Peter “Pete” [R-NY2] (introduced Feb 13, 2013)
- Speier, Jackie [D-CA14] (joined Feb 25, 2013)
- Connolly, Gerald [D-VA11] (joined Mar 13, 2013)