Saturday, October 4, 2008

Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act

See those new shiny buttons on the right? They were designed by AK_Sapphire in honor of National Infertility Week (October 19th-25th) and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day (October 15th). You can get the codes for both buttons on her blog, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Pregnancy.

You can help to raise awareness of these issues by reading and following some or all of the following, a gracious plea by Antigone.

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. More than 25,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year leaving mothers, entire families and communities devastated. Estimates of the rate of occurrence of stillbirth make it at least as common as autism.

Stillbirth is not an intractable problem. Greater research would likely significantly reduce its incidence, but good research requires good data. H.R. 5979: Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act is under consideration by Congress. This proposed bill would standardize stillbirth investigation and diagnosis, thus providing more data for the needed research. Better research means fewer children born still.

History and facts about H.R. 5979.
5/6/2008--Introduced.
Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2008 - Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) more states should enact legislation that allows the issuance of a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth; and (2) the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should increase the allocation of funds and other resources for stillbirth research.

Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to establish and maintain a scientific registry of stillbirths in the United States, which shall include for each stillbirth information on the stillborn fetus and the mother's health and pregnancy as collected and submitted by states on the U.S. Standard Report of Fetal Death.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) provide for the development of a standard definition of stillbirth and a standard protocol for stillbirth data collection and surveillance; and (2) carry out a national campaign to increase public and state awareness of such definition and protocol and public awareness and knowledge of stillbirths.
Information cited from GovTrack.us H.R. 5979--110th Congress (2008): Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2008, GovTracks.us (database of federal legislation). Accessed October 2, 2008

On October 15th, remember the thousands of unfinished children lost and the families who remain to grieve them. Honor them by taking action. Let's help pass H.R. 5979.

Action Steps:

Step 1. Use Your Blog to Enlist Others
-Copy the contents of this entire post and publish it on your blog immediately.

GOAL: Enlist 10 of your readers to spread the word

Step 2. Use Your E-mail to Enlist Others
-E-mail 5 bloggers and ask them (nicely and in an unspammy way) to publish these action steps on their blog. Consider contacting celebrity bloggers, political bloggers, medical bloggers, or bloggers who are not part of your reading community.

GOAL: Enlist 3 bloggers outside of your normal blog sphere to spread the word in other online communities.

Step 3. Help Pass the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act
-By October 15th, publish a post on your blog supporting H.R. 5979 Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act. For maximum impact, title your post: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act."

GOAL: 1,000,000 Google results on October 15th when that term is searched for. Currently, Google only returns 20,400 pages - most of which have nothing to do with the bill.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I've always wished I could design such pretty blog stuff like everyone else.