In honor of the 23,500 babies stillborn each year in the US, we are asking you to urge your State Senators to support a bipartisan bill to better understand and prevent stillbirths in our country - the Stillbirth Health Improvement and Education (SHINE) for Autumn Act. It will only take a few minutes out of your day. You can call and/or email your Senators (each state has 2) using the sample scripts below. Click here to find your U.S. Senator.
Every call and email helps your Senators know how much of a priority this issue is for their constituents (meaning you). It’s all about building pressure, and your calls/emails are one of the best ways to do so. Please refer to the scripts below to help with what to say and share this with your community to help engage as many folks as possible. Now is the time for the mass outreach we’ve all been waiting for!!! Thank you SO MUCH for your help!
My name is ____, a [bereaved parent / maternal health advocate / stakeholder / concerned member of the public], and a constituent of [state]. I’m reaching out to urge you to co-sponsor critical bipartisan legislation that was recently introduced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)--Stillbirth Health Improvement and Education (SHINE) for Autumn Act, named after Autumn Joy, who was stillborn in 2011.
Tragically, according to the CDC, 23,500 babies are stillborn every year in the United States [insert your states stillbirth rate using this stat sheet example (approximately 700 in NJ)]. In fact, the annual number of stillbirths, far exceeds the number of deaths among children aged 0-14 years from prematurity, SIDS, car accidents, drowning, guns, fire, poison, and flu COMBINED. There are also longstanding and persistent racial disparities that must be addressed, with Black families experiencing stillbirths at double the rate of their White counterparts. As for the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are only now beginning to better understand the impact of COVID, but recent studies have shown that it is tied to a higher risk of stillbirth.
Even more concerning is the global comparison of our progress in reducing stillbirth rates. In the last two decades, the U.S. stillbirth rate has remained frustratingly the same, putting our progress at 183rd out of 195 countries globally. Sadly, even with numbers like these, stillbirth remains one of the most underfunded and understudied public health issues today. And this is exactly why the SHINE for Autumn Act is so crucial.
Companion legislation led by Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), and Kathy Castor (FL-14) passed the House of Representatives under suspension with overwhelming bipartisan and majority support in December of 2021. The SHINE for Autumn Act, will focus on preventing stillbirths through enhanced data collection, analysis, reporting, and research. This important piece of legislation would be the beginning of a longer-term solution to prevent and reduce stillbirths in the United States.
[Optional] Like Autumn, my own / my friend’s son/daughter _____ was stillborn. I believe his/her death could have been prevented if legislation like the SHINE for Autumn Act had already been law, impacting research and progress nationwide.
Please help us to bring this tragic maternal and family health crisis out of the shadows by co-sponsoring the SHINE for Autumn Act. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Best, [Your name]
Call Script: “Hello, my name is _____ and I am a constituent of Senator ____ here in (City, State).
I am calling today as a [parent / maternal health stakeholder / concerned member of the public] to urge Senator ____ to co-sponsor the bipartisan Stillbirth Health Improvement and Education (SHINE) for Autumn Act which passed the House of Representatives under suspension in December 2021 and was recently introduced in the Senate by Senators Cory Booker and Marco Rubio.
Tragically, 23,500 babies (that’s 65 a day) are stillborn every year in the US – more than the annual number of deaths among children aged 0-14 years from prematurity, SIDS, car accidents, drowning, guns, fire, poison, and flu COMBINED. And yet despite these numbers, stillbirth remains one of the most underfunded and understudied public health issues today.
The SHINE for Autumn Act would help address this crisis through enhanced data collection, analysis, reporting, and research on stillbirths. This important piece of legislation would be the beginning of a longer-term solution to prevent and reduce stillbirths in the United States.
I would love to send you a follow up email, what email address should I direct that to? And thank you so much for your time!