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House Passes Mullin Bill to Improve U.S. Stillbirth Rate

Today, the House passed Congressman Markwayne Mullin’s (OK-02) bill, the Stillbirth Health Improvement and Education (SHINE) for Autumn Act, which aims to lower the U.S. stillbirth rate by providing critical resources to state and federal health departments, improving data collection, and increasing education and awareness around the issue of stillbirth in the United States. Herrera Beutler introduced the bill in October of this year with Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), and Kathy Castor (FL-14). 

Each year, stillbirth affects 1 out of every 160 births, and over 21,000 babies are stillborn in the United States. In addition, a global comparison of the reduction in stillbirth rates from 2000 to 2019 ranked the U.S. 183rd of 195 countries. Despite medical innovations, stillbirth rates remain relatively unchanged and affect women of all ages and every background across the United States. 

“Stillbirth impacts over 20,000 women in the United States every year. Though medical care and technology have improved, these rates have stayed the same,” Mullin said. “It is crucial that medical professionals have the information they need to mitigate stillborn risk. I thank my colleagues for supporting this bill to promote research and educational guidelines for state departments and for the National Institute of Health (NIH) to improve maternal care. Every mother and her baby deserve a chance at life and that starts with good health care.”

“Today marks a significant and long overdue step forward in the effort to save more babies’ lives and prevent families from experiencing the devastating stillbirth of a child,” Herrera Beutler said. “I’m pleased the House today recognized the urgency to stem our nation’s high rate of stillbirth and unanimously approved my bipartisan piece of legislation. My goal as the co-founder of the Maternity Care Caucus is to continue improving the health and well-being of moms and babies across this country, and this bill is another key piece in that puzzle. I’m hopeful the Senate will take swift action on this bill and send it to the president’s desk to be signed into law.”

“As a country we have not sufficiently invested in research to better understand the tragedy of stillbirth that impacts about one in every 160 pregnancies each year.  As a result, the United States lags behind 181 other nations who are reducing their stillbirth rates more rapidly than we are,” Roybal-Allard said. “As Co-chair of the Congressional Maternity Care Caucus I am proud to have worked with my colleagues, Congresswomen Jaime Herrera Beutler, Kathy Castor and Congressman Markwayne Mullin, to introduce the SHINE for Autumn Act, and I am thrilled that it has passed the House today.  It is time for this country to bring stillbirth out of the shadows and invest in the education and research that will save babies lives.”  

“By passing the SHINE for Autumn Act today, we are one step closer to investing in the research and solutions to help lower the stillbirth rate that exists in the United States and to address disparities in all stages of pregnancy,” Castor said. “I am proud to work with my bipartisan colleagues and Autumn Joy’s mom Debbie on this lifesaving legislation and urge our Senate colleagues to join us in passing this bill.” 

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