Congressional In-fighting makes it tough for stillbirth legislation to pass. New Appropriations gives stillbirth research funding a fighting chance.

Posted on August 19, 2013

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prevent stillborn deaths

Parents look to Congress to help prevent further stillbirth deaths.

There are two active federal bills in the U.S. Congress that address stillbirth research and protocol – H.R. 669 by Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. and H.R. 2365 by Rep. Peter King. The current partisan gridlock permeating Congress and the focus of attention on appropriations bill or lack thereof, foreign affairs and dismantling/implementing Obamacare has virtually all pieces of legislation frozen.

The previous stillbirth research funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) provides an opportunity to dedicate further funds within the pending NICHD research budget. The medical researchers have already requested their funding request and research proposals. There lies a potential opportunity to achieve what we parents have asked for either through legislation or directly through appropriations – research funds to help identify ways to prevent further stillbirth deaths.

MISS is in contact with the NICHD Government Relations Liaison regarding any progress of the appropriations process. But as you can read in the media, no progress is being made on appropriations and another government shut down is looming. On a positive note, a new appropriations bill has to be passed which gives stillbirth research a fighting chance.

Members of the Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee have been supportive of the research in past years. And the Obama administration is supportive of the research as shown in the President’s sponsorship of stillbirth research when President Obama was a Senator. It will be a matter of research funding amounts and priorities.

When the opportunity presents itself, MISS will present its case regarding further stillbirth research funds before the NICHD,  NIH and Congress members to support the funding as well. In the meantime, MISS members are urged to contact their members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 669 and H.R. 2365. The more co-sponsors on the bill will help the NIH’s decision for further research funds.

If you need assistance please contact MISS Congressional Liaison and Advisory Board Member Richard May at RMayAustin@ATT.net.

On a sadder note, all parents give our heartfelt thanks to the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg. We owe Sen. Lautenberg our deepest gratitude for carrying the Senate torch regarding addressing SUID and stillbirth research. We will miss you very much.

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