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Perinatal Hospice & Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Act

H.B 5626 – Rep. John Olumba

 

Current Status

H.B. 5626 was introduced on June 4, 2014 and referred to the House Health Policy Committee. Action on the bills is not expected until the fall of 2014.

Description
When a pregnant woman has a screening or diagnostic test that reveals that her unborn child has condition that is incompatible with life, such as anencephaly, the doctor will be required to refer her to one of the state's perinatal hospice programs. Information is also to be provided on Stillborn Birth Certificats issued by the state if the child does not survive through live birth.

The second part of the bill states when a doctor informs a patient that her unborn child has a non-fatal condition, the doctor shall provide the patient with scientifically accurate information about the condition which includes health outcomes, life expectancy, developmental potential, etc. 

 

In addition, the doctor will provide the patient with information about support groups and advocacy programs for families with children who have the condition including state programs that provide early intervention, such as "Early on Michigan". Lastly, the doctor will provide the patient with information on adoption organizations that specialize in adoptions of children with special needs.

Background

Annually, thousands of couples experience the heartbreak of being told their unborn child has either a fatal condition or a prenatally diagnosed condition such as Down Syndrome. Most times these are wanted pregnancies and the couples are devastated by the news. Almost without exception, these couples are given the suggestion to abort their child. For example, 90% of babies diagnosed prenatally with Down Syndrome are aborted!

There is widespread acceptance in society for this type of abortion. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology considers fetal congenital malformation a "medically indicated reason for pre-term delivery". Abortion removes the normal grieving process from families whose baby has a life-limiting condition - perinatal hospice restores it.  In cases of abortion for non-lethal conditions, abortion targets "imperfect" children in the womb for destruction and sends the message to the family and to society that disabilities will not be tolerated. Giving parents medically accurate information, encouragement, and support will provide life-affirming options.

 

History
In 2008 the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act was passed with bipartisan support at the federal level; unfortunately, the act was never funded.  In MA, a similar bill was passed, but its scope is limited to Down Syndrome only. A few other states have passed similar laws, but none as comprehensive as H.B. 5626.

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