Rep Helene Weinstein (D-Kings), self proclaimed women's rights activist, has stopped a bill that would provide birth certificates for stillborn babies and help to ease the pain of grieving mothers. Ironically the county Weinstein represents has the highest number of stillbirths in all of NY
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A8960 would have helped to provide much-needed comfort, dignity, and accurate documentation to women and their families experiencing the death of a baby just prior to or during birth. Yet, despite overwhelming support from individual legislators, including 53 Democrat and Republican sponsors, a powerful minority of reproductive rights activist legislators have "killed the bill" as of 11:00 p.m. on the last day of session.
All states, including New York, wherein nearly 2000 babies are stillborn each year, require the family to pay for funeral expenses, and a death certificate/report is issued after a stillbirth. Yet, New York, unlike 23 other states, will not offer women the choice of a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. During a presidential election year, when women's choices are a top priority for candidates, this topic is highly provocative.
"There is an enormity to this public health issue," says Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, an expert in traumatic child death. "More than ten times the number of babies die of stillbirth than those who die of SIDS, yet it's virtually invisible." Part of the problem, according to grieving parents, Jeff and Lori Tieger of Staten Island, is that families experiencing stillbirth have been silenced due to abortion politics. On June 15th, the Tieger's held an important Father's Day Press Conference on the steps of City Hall in New York City, where they also had a brief conversation with Speaker Sheldon Silver who assured grieving parents personally that, "We're moving your bill."
However, by the end of session just a few days later, the bill was
being held for consideration due to vociferous opposition from Helene
Weinstein (D- Brooklyn). Yet, Weinstein's own county has the highest number
of stillbirths in all of New York. In addition, one in 90 births results in
stillbirth in that same county. "Assemblywoman Weinstein did not act on
behalf of her constituents. She attended to the demands of large lobbying
organizations supporting her position in the Assembly, and together they
fought against grieving mothers," said activist Paige Ricci of Malta. "I
mean, how can you say you're pro-woman, pro-children, and pro-choice and
yet oppose a bill that advocates for women, children, and choices?"
Jeff and Lori Tieger
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|SOURCE Jeff Tieger|
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