from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gabe Valenzuela
(512) 463-0121
March 29, 2005

Senate Passes Pro-Family Bill Authored by Senator Zaffirini

(AUSTIN) -- The Texas Senate today (Tuesday) passed Senate Bill 271 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, which would allow parents of stillborn children to secure a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.

"Incredibly, under current law these grieving parents receive a certificate of death, but not a certificate of birth," said Senator Zaffirini, former chair and current member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. "This compounds their anguish. My bill provides them a means to memorialize and commemorate their child's life."

This bill also would require any person who prepares a fetal death certificate, such as a funeral home employee, to offer the parents of a stillborn child a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.

At the parents' request, the certificate would reflect the baby's name or "Baby Boy" or "Baby Girl" and the parents' surname. Certificates also could be requested by parents whose children were born still before the bill's passage.

The bill must be passed by the House of Representative before it can be sent to Governor Rick Perry for final approval. The continued progress of this and all bills authored by Senator Zaffirini can be monitored via the internet at www.zaffirini.senate.state.tx.us or by contacting the Texas Legislative Reference Library's toll free instate hotline, 1-877-824-7038.

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