New law will pro­vide cer­tifi­cates for mis­car­riages

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

TALLAHASSEE | Florida will be­come the first state to is­sue what’s es­sen­tially a birth cer­tifi­cate to women who have had mis­car­riages, an idea that re­ceived broad sup­port among Democrats and Repub­li­cans de­spite con­cerns from the Na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Women that it was an at­tempt to de­fine life for fe­tuses that couldn’t sur­vive out­side the womb.

Repub­li­can Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill ti­tled the “Griev­ing Fam­i­lies Act” on Wed­nes­day that will al­low the state to start is­su­ing “cer­tifi­cates of non­vi­able birth” be­gin­ning July 1 if par­ents re­quest them. They would be avail­able to women whose preg­nan­cies end af­ter nine weeks and be­fore 20 weeks of ges­ta­tion.

“At any stage, a par­ent that loses a child loses a part of them­selves,” said Repub­li­can state Rep. Bob Cortes, the bill spon­sor.

Preg­nan­cies that end at 20 weeks or later are con­sid­ered still­births, and death cer­tifi­cates must be is­sued in Florida and many other states. Florida par­ents also may re­quest a birth cer­tifi­cate in such cases.

And while a hand­ful of states al­low death cer­tifi­cates for mis­car­riages, Mr. Cortes’ staff re­searched laws in the 49 other states and found none is­sued the equiv­a­lent of a birth cer­tifi­cate in such cases.

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