Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
The “Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act,” sponsored by Assemblywomen BettyLou DeCroce and Caroline Casagrande, today was voted out of the Assembly Women and Children Committee.
The bill, A-4280, requires the Department of Health to establish protocols for stillbirths and to create a database for stillbirth research.
“The loss of a child in stillbirth is a horrific event, plunging the mother and the entire family into the depths of unthinkable grief,” said DeCroce, R-Essex, Morris and Passaic. “This legislation will provide our medical practitioners and staff additional tools to ensure grieving families are handled sensitively and compassionately,” DeCroce said.
DeCroce and Casagrande’s bill requires the development of policies to ensure that families experiencing a stillbirth receive psychological and emotional support.
The Act is named in honor of Autumn Joy Vijayvergiya, a baby who was stillborn in New Jersey in 2011. Approximately one in every 160 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth, or 26,000 each year.“It is an emotional, psychological and physical trauma, leaving mother and family feeling devastated and alone.” said Casagrande, R-Monmouth. “Following the life-changing tragedy of a stillbirth, it is imperative a mother and the entire family receive sensitive and beneficial treatment from hospitals and doctors. The protocols established by our legislation will better prepare medical professionals for this critical role.”
By directing the Department of Health to establish a database to serve as a comprehensive resource for stillbirth research, the bill could ultimately provide valuable information for the prevention of stillbirths.
Companion bill, S-2843, passed the Senate, 39-0-1.