Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
The General Assembly today approved the “Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act,” sponsored by Assemblywomen BettyLou DeCroce and Caroline Casagrande.
Assembly bill 4280 calls on the Department of Health to create a database for stillbirth research and to develop protocols for stillbirths and to create a database for stillbirth research.
“By establishing guidelines, we are providing medical professionals and staff with tools to ensure grief-stricken families receive sensitive and compassionate care following the loss of a child in stillbirth,” said DeCroce, R-Essex, Morris and Passaic. “For a family coping with a horrific loss, appropriate and skilled care is crucial.”
DeCroce and Casagrande’s bill is named in honor of Autumn Joy Vijayvergiya, a baby who was stillborn in New Jersey in 2011. It requires the development of policies to ensure that families experiencing a stillbirth receive psychological and emotional support.
“A stillbirth is an emotionally devastating event for the mother, father and the entire family. Our bill will better prepare medical care-givers to provide sensitive, proficient treatment for the emotional, and psychological trauma of the loss,” said Casagrande, R-Monmouth.
Approximately one in every 160 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth, or 26,000 each year.
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.
The “Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act” now moves to the Governor. Companion bill S-2843 passed the Senate, 39-0-1.