Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
The “Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act,” sponsored by Assemblywomen BettyLou DeCroce and Caroline Casagrande, has been signed into law by Gov. Christie.
“With the guidelines that will be established, we will provide effective tools to help medical professionals and staff provide sensitive and compassionate care following the loss of a child in stillbirth,” said DeCroce, R-Essex, Morris and Passaic. “Families grieving and struggling after a stillborn loss are especially vulnerable, and skilled care is crucial.”
The new law 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. It requires the development of policies to ensure that families experiencing a stillbirth receive psychological and emotional support.
“An entire family is impacted by the stillbirth loss of a child,” says Casagrande, R-Monmouth. “This new law will better prepare medical workers to care for, and comfort, mothers and fathers struggling with the emotional and psychological trauma of that loss. In addition, establishing a comprehensive research database could ultimately provide clues for the prevention of stillbirths in the future.”
DeCroce and Casagrande’s bill 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.