Dear Future President:
Childbirth is an emotional time for all mothers. Some have to deal with miscarriages and stillbirths. This can be one of the most traumatic things they have to deal with in their life. My mother had a stillborn and was not issued a birth certificate. She says that burying my brother Benjamin was the hardest thing she had to do. These children's parents should not just be given a death certificate.
The number of children stillborn each year in the United States is an overwhelming 23,600. That means one in 160 children are not given the opportunity to live their life. Only thirty-four of the fifty states issue birth certificates to those babies, and three states are pending the approval of issuing birth certificates. The definition of birth says that the fetus does not have to be alive to count as a birth. If a stillborn baby goes through the entire pregnancy but dies a minute before birth thirteen states would only give a death certificate, even though the child was once alive. Those same states would give a premature baby who only took a single breath a birth and death certificate. It is unfair to hand the parents of a stillborn child a death certificate as a reminder of what they will have to deal with for the rest of their lives.
The parents deserve recognition that their baby was alive. A birth certificate should be issued in all fifty states to stillborn babies. The Missing Angels bill should be made into a law so all states have the same rules and treat the parents of stillborns equally. The Missing Angels Bill was built by a mother who was only mailed a death certificate after giving birth to a stillborn who died fifteen minutes before labor and wished to change that for all mothers. Joanne Cacciatore,the creator of this bill, spent over a year of her life working at it. When the Governor of Arizona, Joannes home state, Jane Dee Hull signed the bill she stated, “I think we all know that this is something that should have happened a long time ago for women.” These words of wisdom should be true for all women in the United States of America. I hope this article is as compelling to you as it is for me, and you take it to heart when considering things to change about this country that is built on the idea of freedom and equality.
"Facts about Stillbirth." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 06 June 2016. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
"Welcome to MISSing Angels Bill." Welcome to MISSing Angels Bill. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016