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Bill Named for Stillborn Maplewood Baby Passes in State Assembly

A bill creating research databases for stillbirth research was named after a Maplewood baby who was stillborn at 22 weeks.

A bill creating a hospital database for stillbirth research, named after a Maplewood baby who was stillborn, passed in the State Assembly, Monday, according to a recent report.

The “Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act,” (A4280), will establish research databases in hospitals to establish protocols for stillbirths, according to the bill.

The bill was named after Autumn Joy Vijayvergiya of Maplewood who was stillborn at 22 weeks in July 2011. The baby's mother, Debbie Haine, has been active in lobbying for the bill's passage, the Star-Ledger Reported.

The bill passed by a 79-0 vote. It now heads to the full Senate, which is expected to adopt the identical bill, according to the Star-Ledger.

One in every 160 pregnancies in the United States end in stillbirth every year. Stillbirths are defined in the bill as, “unintended fetal deaths and are traditionally 10 identified as those which occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy or 11 involve the unintended death of fetuses weighing 350 or more 12 grams.

According to the Star-Ledger, the bill would require hospitals to collect autopsy information, create a database and contract with a university willing to do research on stillbirths. That information would include the age and race of the mother, details of prenatal care, family history, as well as whether the mother had experienced complications in prior births, had smoked or consumed alcohol or drugs. If the parents consent to an autopsy, the database also would include its findings.

Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden), a sponsor of the bill of the sponsors, called Haine "a very strong woman and sensitive woman, whose great work is why we are here today."

"I know that this legislation will help future families cope with the tragedy of still birth, will help medical professionals handle stillbirth cases and contribute to a growing body of research that will help us prevent stillbirths in the future," Haine said.

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