Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pennsylvania To Grant Birth Certificates For Stillborn Babies

imageFrom Philly.com

Six years ago, Heidi Kauffman, pregnant with her third child, went to her doctor for a routine exam. She was concerned because her lively baby had turned oddly quiet.

An ultrasound confirmed the worst. Three weeks before Kauffman's due date, her baby was dead.

Doctors induced labor, and the 7-pound boy Kauffman and her husband would name Kail was delivered stillborn. Racked with pain and guilt, Kauffman asked a nurse, "When do I get a birth certificate?"

"You won't," she was told. Instead, the Kauffmans received a death certificate.

Every year, thousands of parents in the United States experience the loss their baby in the latter part of pregnancy.  How heart-wrenching it must be to come home without your baby, and without so much as a certificate to acknowledge your baby's existence. 

"People think it's only a piece of paper, but it was kind of like saying he never happened," Kauffman said.

"I was pretty mad at the world, but I was appalled that I could hold that perfect beautiful baby, and the state would say he never existed."

The new document will be a "certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth".  A piece of paper parents can hold in their hand.  Acknowledgment that their child existed.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Jake Corman (R), had been held up over several sessions, by a then Democrat controlled House, who were afraid this could somehow impede on abortion rights. 

Can it?  I sure hope so.


  1. It will impede on abortion rights. Thats the point of the bill. The republicans don't give a crap about this woman or her pain.

  2. Jackie - The bill is not about induced abortion. It was requested by Heidi Kauffman, the woman in the article. She's the one who suffered late term loss. If republicans didn't care, they would have shelved it, like the democrats did.

  3. no, this is just another example of republicans exploiting women's pain to advance their agenda of state control over women's most private medical decisions.

  4. Jackie - You may want to read the article in it's entirety.

    Do women with fetal losses mean nothing to you? Do they not deserve the right to ask for what they need? They need closure. They need their babies to be recognized as having existed. I don't think that's too much to ask.

  5. of course it means something to me. but i feel that a lot of these laws are to erode Roe, not to help women.

    And I don't understand what this article has to do with abortion.