Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NYS legislative request: Certificate of Stillbirth Bill

To all NY families,
We have one last request to ask of you. We need letters mailed to Governor Cuomo. Lots of letters.
Below is the letter to use.

Those close to the Governor have strongly urged us to use this form letter, rather than write letters of support using personal stories. Our bill has unfairly been drawn into the pro-choice/life debate and we have made some concessions this year that has enabled it to pass both houses.

We can't take any chances. We have one opportunity to let the Governor know how important this bill is. If he vetos the bill, we will need to start all over in January.

Once the Governor signs the bill into law, we will encourage you to write your own thank you note and share your stories, then. But for now, please only use the form letter below.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Thank you...

ON THE ENVELOPE:

Address and mail to: Kristin Ross, Legislative Secretary, Capitol Room 239, Albany NY 12224

On lower left corner of envelope write: "A.8178a / S.3111b In Support of Certificate of Still Birth"

IN THE LETTER:

[DATE]

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor, State of New York
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo,
On June 16th the New York legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill to provide a Certificate of Still Birth. Bills A.8178a & S.3111b help provide much-needed comfort, dignity, and documentation to women and their families who have experienced the tragedy of stillbirth. This public health crisis devastates more than 1,700 New York families each year, and nearly 30,000 nationwide.

In [YEAR], I [my sister, my aunt, my brother, my friend, etc] suffered the stillbirth of my [son/daughter/grandchild/niece/nephew, etc] and saw family, friends and colleagues struggle to find words of comfort. With this bill the state recognizes stillbirth as a significant event that others can recognize.

All states, including New York, require the family to pay for funeral and burial or cremation expenses, and a death certificate is issued. Although a fetal demise is considered as both a birth and a death as per NYS Public Health law, until now New York did not consider the option of a Certificate of Still Birth.

This bill will increase awareness of stillbirth, and in doing so may stimulate the allotment of research funds to uncover the etiologies of stillbirth, most of which are unknown at this time. With more information, women and families will be better prepared to maintain healthy pregnancies.

I strongly urge your support of Assembly bill A.8178a and Senate bill S.3111b. Thank you in advance for helping countless New York families who have experienced stillbirth and are eagerly awaiting your support as the bill is signed into law.

Sincerely,
Name - Address - Phone