New law will provide certificates for miscarriages
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.