Sunday, September 28, 2008

H.R. 5979

House of Representatives Bill 5979 was introduced by Peter King of NY in May 2008. This bill is currently referred to the Committee of Health with 13 cosponsors. The more cosponsors a bill has the more likely it is to pass. You may veiw the Bill Status page to find a list of cosponsors.

There are a few key points to the bill:
*Acknowledges that many states do not issue a Certificate of Stillbirth, but a Death Certificate.
*Creates a National Registry to track the causes of stillbirth
*Creates a standard for the information collected about the mother
*Requests a standard to define stillbirth
*Expresses the request for more funds to be allocated to stillbirth research

Taking action is easy! Your letter could make a significant impact on the number of cosponsors this bill receives.

1. Identify your Representative.
Go to the United States Postal Service to determine your 9-digit zip code
Go to the House of Representative to determine your Representative
2. Write your letter. We have included a sample letter below that was distributed by First Candle
3. Submit your letter via either your Representative's website or mail
4. Would love to hear from you in the comments section that your letter was sent!!

Dear Representative ________________:
I am writing to ask you to co-sponsor legislation that would help the CDC and researchers better determine the risk factors associated with stillbirth and convey those risk factors to expectant parents.

House of Representative Bill 5979, the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2008, was introduced by Representative Peter King of New York in an effort to address the lack of standardized data collection nationally with regard to stillbirth.

Each year more than 25,000 babies in the United States are stillborn. More than 50 percent of these deaths occur in the last trimester of pregnancy and 15 percent occur during labor and delivery. Due to a lack of autopsy/investigation and inconsistencies in diagnosing these, more than 50 percent of all stillbirths remain unexplained.

With standardized investigation and reporting of these deaths, researchers would be better able to determine the risk factors. H.R. 5979 would both standardize the definition of stillbirth and the method in which data is collected, in order to create a national repository of stillbirth data to assist researchers in conducting comprehensive studies in to the causes of, and possible preventive strategies for, stillbirth. The bill also authorizes a public awareness campaign promoting good prenatal practices, including monitoring movements during the last trimester of pregnancy, to reduce the risk of stillbirth.

This legislation is important to me because (insert your personal story here.)

Thank you so much for your consideration of my request.
(insert name and contact information here)

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