Saturday, March 03, 2007

For Baby Will, a plug for SB 398

There are approximately 400 stillbirths every year in the state of Arkansas, and these parents receive a Certificate of Fetal Death but not a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. I won’t repeat the information you can get below, but please know that I have personally attended over 300 such births in my career, and they are BIRTHS, even if they are not live births. We would like the State of Arkansas to acknowledge these events as births. You can go to the national site www.missingangelsbill.org and read the People magazine article about this national movement. Feel free to contact me or Tina at tina-lynette@missingmaddie.org.

Hurry, please…we need you! Blessings, Lynette Spruiell

Dear Friends:

We are writing to ask a small favor of each of you. We have been working with State Senator Mary Anne Salmon to introduce legislation in the 2007 General Assembly that would require the State of Arkansas to issue a "Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth" to parents when requested. Many of you may be surprised to learn that despite the fact that Tina labored for sixteen hours and gave birth to our daughter, we were told that we would not receive any kind of birth certificate for Maddie - only a death certificate. How can you have a death certificate without any type of birth certificate, we wondered? So, we have set out to change the law.

Last week, Senator Salmon introduced Senate Bill 398. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare & Labor. Sometime soon, probably within the next two weeks, we will go before the Committee and testify as to why the bill is needed and why it is so important to parents like us. If the Committee approves it, the bill will go to a vote before the entire Senate. If approved there, it then goes to the House of Representatives for a vote.

We need your help to ensure that this bill becomes law. Please take a few minutes and contact your State Senator and State Representative and express your support for SB 398. You may call, write, or e-mail them. Their contact information can be found at http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us . You can also help by forwarding this e-mail to other people in your address book so that they too may contact their legislators.

We have also established a website to keep people informed of the legislative status of this bill. Feel free to visit the site at: http://www.missingmaddie.org . If this bill is passed into law, Arkansas will become the 15th state to issue such certificates. A recent article in People Magazine highlighted the national movement that we are now a part of. If you are interested in reading that article, let us know and we will gladly forward it to you.

As always, we appreciate the support of our family and friends, and we thank you for helping us in our pursuit of this goal.

Warmest regards,

Tina & Jason

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