OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill designed to protect the rights of grieving families has been signed into law in Oklahoma.
Healthcare providers are currently required to tell parents about their right to request fetal remains following a stillbirth or fetal death in pregnancies occurring at 12 weeks of gestation or later.
However, families who lose a child in the first trimester are not given that same choice.
Sen. Adam Pugh wrote Senate Bill 647 to extend the same courtesy to all grieving Oklahoma families who lose a child since a high number of miscarriages and fetal deaths occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
“Losing a child, no matter at what stage of pregnancy, is devastating for expectant parents and their families, but the loss is further magnified when medical facilities dispose of the infant’s remains without consulting with the family to see if they want to bury them,” Pugh said. “This is a deeply emotional issue between scientific definitions and family love. If a baby hasn’t fully developed in the womb, some medical professionals consider the remains medical hazardous waste that must be disposed of. However, to some grieving families, that was their child from the moment of conception who deserves a proper burial and funeral. Lily’s Law will ensure that all families have the opportunity to properly mourn their child and honor their life however they choose.”
A concerned mother who has lost two children to miscarriage requested the bill.
“The bill is named in honor of an Oklahoma family who lost their daughter, Lily Gianna, early in the first trimester in 2012. Overcome with shock and grief, the young couple did not realize they could ask for their daughter’s remains, nor did the facility offer the option. Had they known, they said they would have chosen to recover Lily’s remains and bury her,” the news release states.
Approximately 80 percent of all pregnancy losses occur within the first trimester or first 12 weeks, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists.
On Wednesday, Gov. Stitt signed ‘Lily’s Law.’