As of July 1, women who experience a miscarriage in Florida will be able to get a birth certificate if they choose to. Gov. Rick Scott signed the historic bill on Tuesday under the Grieving Families Act. The official title for this kind of record will be called “certificates of nonviable birth” and women can also include a name of fetus as well as the gender, Politico reported.
The bill will be for women whose pregnancies end after 9 weeks and before 20 weeks. A medical official or midwife would have to file the request within 30 days, and the Florida Department of Health would be required to issue the certificate within 60 days. The bill also states that certain information on the certificate of nonviable birth will be available as a public record.
While Florida already has a law in place that requires a fetal death certificate for fetuses that have reached the 20 weeks, this is the first state in the U.S. that will issue a birth certificate for miscarriages.
Initial reaction since the news broke yesterday has been very mixed. In particular pro-choice groups believe this is a tactic by pro-life group to determine when life begins and this is another attempt at humanizing a fetus. According to WTSP 10News, lawmakers that supported this bill say it is not a political move but mainly about “giving parents the ability to acknowledge their unborn baby’s life.”
On Twitter some expressed that this bill is just another way to shame women into thinking they “legally owe the state a healthy baby.”
I know a lot of folks want to believe the FL miscarriage bill is about compassion toward women and ending stigma. But it's not. At all.
— Jessica Mason Pieklo (@Hegemommy) June 2, 2017
Chenelle Hastings, a mother of three children, has experienced two lost pregnancies. She told WTSP 10News: “I think it’s important no matter how long or short the life was for families that need that certificate to say your baby existed. It’s important for them.” How do you feel about this new law? Let us know in the comment section below.