Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act - S.3142 and H.R. 5979

I've been remiss in getting this up - October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. More than 25,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year leaving mothers, entire families and communities devastated. Estimates of the rate of occurrence of stillbirth make it at least as common as autism.

Antigone is spearheading a blogger effort to raise awareness of these bills, which are right now still in sub-committee. The bills are Senate Bill 3142: "Preventing Stillbirth and SUID Act of 2008," and H.R. 5979: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2008." I have not had the chance to research these are thoroughly as I would have liked before posting, but both appear to be in subcommittee still (and Tash has a good analysis of them both). And, they're not going to move this calendar year, I'm sorry to say. Senators and Representatives are all home campaigning. They may or may not be additional sessions this Congressional cycle, but to deal with the economic crisis. So realistically, nothing could possibly happen with either of these bills until the Spring. But! That doesn't mean awareness raising isn't a good thing. By starting to raise awareness now, we can help build a grassroots support effort for these bills when their time truly comes. Antigone and I are talking about what next steps might be - if you have strong interest in these bills, or Congressional outreach experience, please get in touch with her or me - and we'll see if we can put some blogging power to work.

For now, as per Antigone:

Action Steps:

Step 1. Use Your Blog to Enlist Others
-Copy the contents of this entire post and publish it on your blog immediately.

GOAL: Enlist 10 of your readers to spread the word

Step 2. Use Your E-mail to Enlist Others
-E-mail 5 bloggers and ask them (nicely and in an unspammy way) to publish these action steps on their blog. Consider contacting celebrity bloggers, political bloggers, medical bloggers, or bloggers who are not part of your reading community.

GOAL: Enlist 3 bloggers outside of your normal blog sphere to spread the word in other online communities.

Step 3. Help Pass the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act
-By October 15th, publish a post on your blog supporting H.R. 5979 Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act. For maximum impact, title your post: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act."

GOAL: 1,000,000 Google results on October 15th when that term is searched for. Currently, Google only returns 20,400 pages - most of which have nothing to do with the bill.


Ya Chun said...

Well, they might all be home campaigning, but now is a good time to write to them since they might actually be paying attention to what voters are saying!

Also, I love the photo you made- can I borrow it for tomorrow???


Which Box said...

Full disclosure, I got the image from Kym at I'm a Smart One:


She is smarter than me, because she had it linking directly to a write up of the bill.

And yes, it's always a good time to contact your Congresspeople. They just won't be back in session until January - and it sure looks like there will be a lot of turnover.