Why Should We Have a Certificate of Still Birth
* This bill was first introduced in 2003. Each year nearly 1,700 New York State families bury their stillborn child. (according to the NYS Dept of Public Health)
* 1 in 100 births in New York State results in a stillbirth.
* NYS Public Health Law §4160 recognizes a fetal death as both a birth and a death. It requires the burial or cremation of the stillborn fetus. To be consistent, then, NYS law should also acknowledge the birth of the fetus. This bill will accomplish this inconsistency.
* Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 provides legal rights for an unborn fetus post 20 weeks gestation without infringing upon abortion laws. With this law in place, there should not be any concern that this bill will infringe on abortion laws.
* Costs to the state registrar and local registrars will be minor and offset by the certificate fee.
* The terms "live birth" and "stillbirth" exists because both events are a birth.
* This bill has been overwhelmingly approved by the Assembly Health committee since 2008. The Health committee has had regular dealings with the major opposition groups whose concerns have been alleviated.
* Since 2001, 28 states have passed similar bills, granting parents the option of obtaining a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth, without repercussions to existing right-to-choose laws. (update 1/1/11 - for updates see MISSing Angels Bill)
* The words "This certificate is not proof of a live birth" will appear on each certificate.
The New York Certificate of Still Birth bill (S.3111b / A.8178) was signed into law on September 23, 2011. View the law on the NY State Senate website.
* Stillbirths are 10 times more common than SIDs. In 2009, there were 1,711 stillbirths and 54 SIDs cases. (NYS Dept of Health)
* The number of reported deaths from stillbirth equals that of all infant deaths combined. (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)